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Jon Kyl to replace McCain in Senate

Posted at 9:32 AM, Sep 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-04 19:07:00-04

Governor Ducey said he'd wait until the end of ceremonies to honor Senator John McCain before he chose McCain's successor.

Now he's announced his pick: Jon Kyl, who retired as Senator about six years ago.

Kyl only plans to stay in the Senate a few months.

Governor Ducey said he knew whoever he appointed to John McCain's seat would have big shoes to fill so he chose someone who's already walked the halls of the Senate---retired Arizona Senator Jon Kyl.

He said, "It's not the time for newcomers and now is not the time for on the job training. Arizona need someone who can hit the ground running on day one and that's Jon Kyl."

Before he retired in 2013, Jon Kyl served 18 years in the Senate and eight in the House.  As a retired Senator he was leading efforts to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.  As a sitting Senator he'll be able to vote for Kavanaugh.

Kyl could serve through 2020 but for the same reason he left the Senate six years ago, he's only committed to be in the Senate through the end of the year.

"I needed to be with my family to come back to Arizona more and to be at their side. So in that spirit, I'm willing to serve certainly through the end of this session, at least, in order to make sure that the business that is currently ongoing is taken care of."

And that opens the prospect Ducey will appoint another Senator when Kyl steps down.

Retired longtime Tucson area Congressman Jim Kolbe praises Jon Kyl's depth of experience and ability to compromise.

"He's worked across the aisle on things like water issues and other major issues before the US Senate and so I think he's shown consistently an ability to get things done so I think that's exactly the sort of person we need to fill of the shoes of John McCain."

Watch the full conference below: