Arizona gov. names ex-Sen. Jon Kyl to replace John McCain
PHOENIX, September 4, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has selected former Sen. Jon Kyl to serve the remainder of the late Sen. John McCain’s term in the U.S. Senate, the Arizona Republic reported Tuesday.
McCain, a Vietnam War veteran and POW, senator since 1987, and former presidential candidate, died on August 25 following a nearly year-long battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. Ducey, a fellow Republican, said he would not discuss McCain’s successor until after the senator was laid to rest this past weekend.
“There is no one in Arizona more prepared to represent our state in the U.S. Senate than Jon Kyl,” Ducey announced. “He understands how the Senate functions and will make an immediate and positive impact benefiting all Arizonans. I am deeply grateful to Senator Kyl for agreeing to succeed his friend and college of so many years.”
Kyl, 76, previously represented Arizona in the Senate from 1995 to 2013, declining to seek re-election in 2012. During his tenure he also served as minority whip, and was considered one of the chamber’s most influential Republicans.
The Republic reports that Ducey chose Kyle because his experience in the body will help him “wrap up McCain’s unfinished business.” It remains unknown whether Kyl plans to approach the appointment as a temporary assignment, or run for a more permanent return to the Senate after the current term is up.
"Jon Kyl is a dear friend of mine and John’s,” McCain’s widow Cindy said of the choice. “It’s a great tribute to John that he is prepared to go back into public service to help the state of Arizona.” Many speculated that Ducey would choose Mrs. McCain herself to complete her husband’s term.
Kyl’s appointment will bring the GOP’s razor-thin Senate majority back up to 51-49, at least until this November’s midterm election winners take office next January. Conservatives hope the appointment and elections will bring a new opportunity to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood. Control of the Senate will also decide the fate of judicial nominees through the remainder of President Donald Trump's first term.
Kyl holds a 100% pro-life voting record according to the National Right to Life Committee, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and NARAL. However, in 2012 he also crossed party lines to support Arizona Supreme Court Justice Andrew David Hurwitz’s confirmation to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Hurwitz had previously boasted that as a judicial clerk he helped author a pair of opinions that struck down abortion restrictions in Connecticut and helped influence Roe v. Wade.