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Senator Arpaio? Arizona Governor to Choose Replacement for McCain

Within the U.S. Senate, no one may emerge to fill the shoes of Arizona Republican John McCain, who died Saturday.

However, one person will be selected by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to fill the next two years of the term McCain won in 2016, The Washington Times reported.

Under Arizona law, Ducey has a wide open field. The only restriction on him is that the Republican governor must pick someone from the same party as McCain, which is where the current state of Arizona politics could make the selection process an extension of the primary battle currently taking place in the GOP ranks.

The retirement of Republican Sen. Jeff Flake means that Arizona has a primary Tuesday in which Republicans will choose the GOP candidate who will represent the party in the November election.

U.S. Rep. Martha McSally is competing against former state lawmaker Kelli Ward and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The most recent polling shows McSally leading her rivals, according to RealClear Politics.

So if McSally wins, “Mr. Ducey may face pressure from some corners of his state to name one of the others to fill Mr. McCain’s seat,” according to The Washington Times. That would put Arpaio in the running.

Whoever Ducey names will serve through the end of 2020 when Arizona will have a special election to fill the final two years of the final term McCain won.

Although in the year since McCain said he had brain cancer there has been speculation of whom Ducey might choose, he has kept any thoughts to himself.

The Arizona Republic recently listed names it thought were contenders for the seat.

Those names were headed by Cindy McCain, the late senator’s widow, but not everyone was happy at the news.


The Arizona Republic also suggested Kirk Adams, Ducey’s deputy chief of staff; Barbara Barrett, a retired businesswoman and a philanthropist; John Kyl, a former U.S. senator; Karrin Taylor Robson, a real estate developer; John Shadegg, a former congressman; Matt Salmon, also a former congressman; and Eileen Klein, the current state treasurer.

Ducey has only mentioned one name in discussion for the seat. He has said he would not appoint himself, The Washington Post reported.

Ducey is also facing re-election this fall, the Arizona Republic reported.

“Electorally, I don’t think that this (appointment issue) affects (Ducey) one way or another,” said Republican strategist Chuck Coughlin, who said any appointment may not take place for weeks.

“I think he’ll do the right thing and get through it, and will do something John would be happy with,” he said.

“If there’s a desire to have some family member fulfill the term, I imagine he (Ducey) would be OK with it,” he said. “If he makes a pick of somebody else, it’s going to be a conservative Republican who, I would think, he would have great confidence in. So, I don’t think there’s going to be any impact.”

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