Governor Ducey announced today that former Senator Jon Kyl will succeed the late Senator John McCain in the United States Senate. The appointment comes after a week of memorials in Arizona and Washington D.C. celebrating Senator McCain’s lifetime of service and as the U.S. Senate begins confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“There is no one in Arizona more prepared to represent our state in the U.S. Senate than Jon Kyl,” said Governor Ducey in a statement. “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 colleague of so many years. Every single day that Jon Kyl represents Arizona in the United States Senate is a day when our state is being well-served.”
Kyl previously served in the U.S. Senate for 18 years, rising to the second-highest republican position, minority whip. He also served in the House of Representatives for eight years prior to his tenure in the senate. Most recently, Kyl has been assisting Kavanaugh with the senate confirmation process.
“We are all saddened by the circumstances that required this appointment and appreciate there was only one John McCain,” said Jon Kyl. “John and I served the people of Arizona for nearly two decades, and in that spirit, along with Senator Flake, I will do my best to ensure Arizonans are well represented in the Senate. There is much-unfinished business, including confirmation of President Trump’s nominees for judicial and executive branch positions, and I look forward to getting to work on behalf of my fellow Arizonans.”
Cindy McCain tweeted this morning that “Jon Kyl is a dear friend of mine and John’s. It’s a great tribute to John [McCain] that he is prepared to go back into public service to help the State of Arizona.”
McCain and Kyl served together in the U.S. Senate and built a strong friendship. Kyl provided a tribute to McCain during a private ceremony in the Arizona Capitol rotunda last week stating, “I consider it a great privilege to have served with John and I will miss him as a friend and as a strong force for America in the world.”
Local leaders praised Ducey’s decision including Senator Jeff Flake, who succeeded Kyl, “Jon Kyl is an excellent choice to fill John McCain’s Senate seat. There is no one more qualified. Arizona will be well-served by Jon’s willingness to once again serve his country.”
Glenn Hamer, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and a former Kyl staffer, stated “There is no one better to serve Arizona’s interests in the U.S. Senate and to carry on the legacy of Sen. John McCain than Jon Kyl. Sen. Kyl’s record of service on Capitol Hill has been exemplary.” He continued, “On the issues that are important to Arizona, Sen. Kyl is an expert with an established track record. I commend Gov. Ducey for this outstanding selection. Arizonans are so fortunate to have a leader of Sen. Kyl’s stature and experience representing us once again.”
According to a press release from the Governor’s office, Kyl will serve through at least the second session of the 115th Congress, concluding this year. Kyl stated that he will not seek the seat in 2020.