McCain replacement Jon Kyl sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence

Lydia FlemingSep 06, 2018

The replacement for the late John McCain in the Senate is now shepherding Trump's nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Jon Kyl is a dear friend of mine and John's", she tweeted. Jon Kyl (R) will fill the seat left vacant after the death of Sen.

Kyl was an Arizona Senator from 1995 to 2013.

In a prepared statement, the governor's office said Kyl's "expertise on water and natural resource issues will be very beneficial to our state as we face new challenges in those areas", noting that Arizona State University's Kyl Center for Water Policy is named for him.

Over the last few months, Senator Kyl has been working closely with the White House on the Senate confirmation of the President Trump's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh.

Those are the signals coming out of Phoenix, where Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday announced former Sen.

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

Preceded by Trent Lott, Kyl took over the reins as Senate Minority Whip and served under Majority leader Mitch McConnell.

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"Over the weekend, Senator John McCain was laid to rest at Annapolis".

Kyl said that he "will do my best to ensure that Arizonans continue to be well-represented in the Senate". If Kyl leaves in January, Ducey or his successor must appoint a Republican to fill the seat, according to state law. If he is unwilling to serve until the next general election in 2020, the governor would have to appoint another interim senator.

Kyl was appointed on Tuesday by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, also a Republican, to temporarily fill McCain's seat.

Ducey confirmed the pick in a tweet Tuesday.

From a political standpoint, Kyl seemed the "more Republican" of the two Arizona Senators back when he and McCain were serving. "Every single day that Jon Kyl represents Arizona in the United States Senate is a day when our state is being well-served".

McCain, who served 35 years in Congress, died August 25 after battling brain cancer. And Kyl said he won't run for re-election. Flake wrote. "There is no one more qualified and Arizona is well served".

That said, Kyl has not ruled out remaining in the seat until 2020. Although Arizona has been a reliably Republican state, demographic trends have raised Democratic hopes of winning there in November and in future statewide elections. "Kyl yet. What I have gotten is a commitment to serve Arizona through at least this session of Congress, and it's my hope that he serves longer", Ducey said.

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