Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has announced the appointment of Representative Martha McSally to fill John McCain’s Senate seat. The appointment comes after the resignation of John Kyl after briefly filling the seat after McCain’s death in August.
“All her life, Martha has put service first — leading in the toughest of fights and at the toughest of times,” said Governor Ducey. “She served 26 years in the military; deployed six times to the Middle East and Afghanistan; was the first woman to fly in combat and command a fighter squadron in combat; and she’s represented Southern Arizona in Congress for the past four years. With her experience and long record of service, Martha is uniquely qualified to step up and fight for Arizona’s interests in the U.S. Senate. I thank her for taking on this significant responsibility and look forward to working with her and Senator-Elect Sinema to get positive things done.”Office of the Governor
McSally lost the race to replace retiring Senator Jeff Flake to Kyrsten Sinema and that loss has made some Arizona Republicans wary of her appointment, in spite of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s support of her, according to CNN.
John McCain’s widow, Cindy tweeted what appears to be polite support and a pointed reminder of her husband’s legacy in the face of McSally’s support of President Trump’s sometimes controversial policies.
McSally will be up for reelection in 2020, the special election for the seat will be, by Arizona law, being held at the next general election. Then, in 2022, the seat will be on the ballot for the normal six year term.
The appointment of McSally was met with harsh words from the Democratic Senatorial Committee.
“Why appoint a loser when you could find a fresh face with a better shot in 2020?” DSCC spokeswoman Lauren Passalacqua said in a statement. “That’s the question that will haunt Governor Ducey and the Washington Republicans who installed Martha McSally to a seat she couldn’t earn. McSally was a weak candidate who ran a disrespectful campaign, and lied about her record of voting to gut pre-existing conditions coverage for 2.8 million Arizonans. Voters rejected her once, and will do so again.”CNN
While Kyl’s resignation takes effect December 31, it is unclear if McSally will be sworn in immediately or with Democrat Krysten Sinema on January 3. If she is sworn in immediately upon her predecessor’s departure, she will be the state’s senior Senator, per CNN. Either way, McSally and Sinema will be the first Arizonan women Senators.