Looking At The Potential Replacements For John McCain

With Sen. John McCain’s death on Saturday, political observers have turned their attention to a replacement in the Senate.

Arizona law requires Gov. Doug Ducey to select the person to fill McCain’s seat. Whomever Ducey selects will face re-election in a November 2020 special election and again for the seat’s regularly scheduled election in 2022. Arizona law requires that the governor appoint someone who belongs to the same party as the person who vacated the seat, meaning a Republican in this case. (Technically, the law specifies the party the person belonged to when they were elected.)

The GOP also faces the prospect of losing the state’s other Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Jeff Flake.

Arizona will have two new senators come January 2019, a marked departure from the state’s outsized influence only a few years ago when it was represented by McCain and Jon Kyl, the majority whip.

Speculation around McCain’s replacement was renewed earlier this week when McCain’s office announced he was discontinuing medical treatment for an aggressive glioblastoma. 

Former Sen. Jon Kyl

(Joshua Lott / Reuters)

U.S. Senate Republican candidate Jeff Flake (L) and U.S. Senator John McCain (R) listen to former U.S. Senator Jon Kyl speak during the Republican Party election night event in Phoenix, Arizona. on Nov. 6, 2012. 

Gov. Doug Ducey

(Samantha Sais / Reuters)

Arizona Republican gubernatorial primary candidate Doug Ducey smiles after voting in the Paradise Valley section of Phoenix, Arizona. on Aug. 26, 2014. 

Cindy McCain

(ERIC THAYER / Reuters)

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