Former Senator Jon Kyl Will Succeed John McCain In The Senate

Jon Kyl, once one of the most powerful Republicans in the U.S. Senate, will return to Capitol Hill to succeed the late Sen. John McCain, The Arizona Republic reported. Gov. Doug Ducey is scheduled to unveil the 76-year-old as McCain’s successor at a 1pm ET news conference at the Arizona Capitol, after notifying McCain’s wife, Cindy, and other key political figures of his decision.

“There is no one in Arizona more prepared to represent our state in the U.S. Senate than Jon Kyl,” Ducey said 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 college of so many years.

Ducey sought someone who could quickly step into the seat to wrap up McCain’s unfinished business, the governor’s aide said. Kyl brings a depth of knowledge on issues key to Arizona, from water and natural resources to Native American relations.

Kyl, who served alongside McCain during his 18 years in the U.S. Senate, will fly to Washington, D.C., following Ducey’s announcement. He is respected among seasoned Republicans and is leading President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, through the confirmation process. Last year, Kyl was the “sherpa” for Jeff Sessions’ contentious nomination to become attorney general. In 2006, Time magazine named Kyl one of America’s 10 best senators.

He represented Arizona in the U.S. Senate from 1995 through Jan. 3, 2013. There, he served as minority whip, the second-highest position in the Republican conference. Before ascending to the Senate, he served in the House of Representatives from 1987 to 1995.

In a tweet, McCain’s widow, Cindy, expressed support for the appointment. “Jon Kyl is a dear friend of mine and John’s. It’s a great tribute to John that he is prepared to go back into public service to help the state of Arizona,” she wrote.

Kyl retired in 2013 after rising to become the second-highest-ranking Republican senator. He has agreed to serve at least through the end of the year, a representative for Ducey said. If he opts to step down after the end of the session, the Republican governor would be required to appoint another replacement.

After leaving the Senate, Kyl joined the high-powered Washington, D.C., law firm Covington & Burling. As senior adviser, he helps clients on issues ranging from tax, health care, defense, national security and intellectual property.

The governor, who has long called Kyl a mentor, contacted the former senator in the hours following McCain’s Aug. 25 death. The two have forged a close bond and are like-minded, pro-growth conservatives.

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Ducey will submit a certificate of appointment to the U.S. Senate secretary Tuesday. An aide is flying the paperwork to Washington, D.C., and will hand-deliver it to the secretary’s office. Kyl could be sworn in as early as Tuesday night, though Wednesday is more likely, the aide said.

Kyl will return to a chamber where Republicans narrowly hold control and where votes can be unpredictable.

On Tuesday, the chamber began deliberating the Kavanaugh nomination. A Senate committee hopes to vote later this month to send Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate to get him on the bench before the midterm elections.

 

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Author: Tyler Durden

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