Former senator Jon Kyl to replace John McCain in Senate

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"Jon Kyl is a safe choice for Governor Ducey as he tries to balance his reelection and the McCain and Trump factions of the Arizona Republican Party", said Dan Eberhart, an Arizona-based Republican donor. "He has great judgment, an even keel, he's a team player, a true friend and an inspiring example of what a senator can and should be", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said of Kyl shortly before the swearing-in.

Under Arizona law, Ducey is responsible for appointing a McCain replacement until a November 2020 special election.

Kyl, 76, said he was willing to serve through at least the end of the current Congress, injecting a degree of uncertainty about the future of the seat.

In choosing Kyl, Ducey tapped a figure who is well-liked by both Trump's political team and McCain's family and allies. He is a lawyer, who has been acting in recent weeks as the top liaison to the Senate on behalf of President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Kyl, who had been working as a lobbyist at the law firm Covington & Burling, had a previous stint as senator, rising to serve in Republican leadership before retiring in 2013.

"When others were looking into Vladimir Putin's eyes, with an eye of understanding him and reaching accommodation with him, John, of course, said: I looked into his eyes and saw KGB", Kyl said.

Kyl's entire career in Washington overlapped with McCain's, and he served with the state's senior senator for three terms before stepping down.

McCain died late last month at age 81 following a yearlong battle with brain cancer. There is no one more qualified and Arizona is well served.

Kyl has acted as a "sherpa" for Kavanaugh following his nomination and has helped to orchestrate his meetings with other senators.

The GOP is hoping Kyl will be a more reliable partisan vote than McCain, whose opposition to a partial repeal of President Obama's health care law pitched the party into turmoil a year ago.

"There is no one in Arizona more prepared to represent our state in the U.S. Senate than Jon Kyl".

'I think McCain would be very happy with the pick.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey says former Republican Sen.

As a Senator, Kyl voted against the nomination of Justice Elena Kagan because she didn't support the now-overturned "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy that prevented gays and lesbians from serving in the military, saying it was "bad policy". Should she lose, McSally - a former Air Force colonel who once worked on Kyl's staff - could be appointed to the McCain seat if Kyl leaves it in January. Jon Kyl is ready to cast a vote for Brett Kavanaugh to be nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court. He said he hoped Kyl would consider staying in the seat longer.

Kyl, who retired in 2012, will now serve alongside the man who succeeded him: Republican Jeff Flake.

He is expected to be a placeholder, not running in 2020, when voters will get to decide who fills the remainder of McCain's seat through 2022. "But Kyl always seemed like a straight-shooter to me, and when he left office back in 2013, I was sad to see him go".

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