Former Arizona U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl to Replace John McCain

Memorial Service Held For Sen. John Mc Cain At North Phoenix Baptist Church

Arizona's governor on Tuesday named former US Senator Jon Kyl as the temporary successor to late senator John McCain, appointing a respected and powerful former Republican lawmaker to the post. In Kyl, Ducey tapped a brand-name Arizona politician who was close with McCain and once ascended to the top ranks of Senate leadership.

"Now, Senator Kyl can cast a vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation", said Ducey.

But he only committed to serve until January 2019, raising the prospect of requiring Ducey to again appoint a replacement until the seat is up for re-election in November 2020.

"He is a man without comparable peer", Governor Doug Ducey told reporters in Phoenix, with Kyl at his side.

Kyl served four two-year terms in the U.S. House of Representatives before he was first elected to a six-year stint in the Senate in 1994.

Once Kyl is sworn in, Republicans will return to the 51 seats they held in the 100-member Senate before McCain's death. They hold a 51-49 majority but that dwindled to a single vote while McCain stayed in Arizona for much of this year being treated for the brain cancer that killed him on August 25.

The appointment means Trump could have a reliable vote for the rest of the year. "I think he's his own worst enemy", Kyl said of Trump, adding that he "could be much more effective if he were more politic, more diplomatic".

Republican President Donald Trump had long feuded with McCain and did not attend the senator's memorials in Arizona and Washington over the past week, at McCain's request.

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Kyl, 76, served alongside McCain in the Senate from 1995 until 2013 and was a consistent conservative vote. It's a great tribute to John that he is prepared to go back into public service to help the state of Arizona'.

Doug Cole, a veteran Republican consultant and former McCain aide, said Kyl was a safe pick. In what appeared to be a veiled comparison to McCain, Kyl also joked that the president's combative nature "reminds me of somebody". "Honors his legacy while putting some major horsepower for Arizona in the seat, at least for now", he said.

Kyl said he did not "really have a relationship" with President Trump, having met him only once. But Ducey said at the news conference it's not clear whether Kyl will remain in the Senate through 2020.

During his time back in the Senate, Kyl will have the opportunity to vote on several issues that have been involved in his lobbying activities, from immigration to national security.

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) speaks after being awarded the 2017 Liberty Medal by former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (unseen) at the Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., October 16, 2017.

But Kyl has also at times been unreserved in his criticism of Trump. His work was primarily focused on tax issues affecting the company, but Kyl's firm, Covington & Burling, also lobbied the House and Senate to drum up support for the B-21 bomber, a stealth aircraft Northrop Grumman is building for the Air Force.

She's now locked in a tough campaign against Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema for the Senate seat Flake is vacating.

The appointment was tweeted by McCain's widow, Cindy.

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