Former Republican Sen. Kyl to replace McCain, bolstering conservatives

Sen. Jon Kyl walks through the Capitol on Nov. 15 2011

Sen. Jon Kyl walks through the Capitol on Nov. 15 2011

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. "Upon his appointment today, Mr. Kyl said, "... when I left the Senate nearly six years ago, I had no intention of returning. Jon Kyl to the Senate on Tuesday, tapping a major conservative figure to replace the late Sen. Cindy McCain quickly offered her support, calling Kyl "a dear friend of mine and John's".

Kyl spent 18 years in the US Senate before retiring in 2013 as a ranking Republican. This is the firm helping President Trump's nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, get through confirmation hearings that began this week.

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

Kyl, 76, retired from the Senate in 2013, previously serving as Senate minority whip. "Now, Sen. Kyl can cast a vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation".

Gov. Doug Ducey, also a Republican, said Kyl was "the best possible person, regardless of politics" for the job, and he hopes Kyl serves past the end of the year.

We are all saddened by the circumstances that required this appointment and appreciate there was only one John McCain.

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McSally, a current House member and former military fighter pilot, was one of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's dream recruits previous year.

If Kyl holds to his plan, Ducey will have to designate another Republican, by law, to keep the seat until 2020.

Kyl has only committed to fill the seat until the end of the current congressional session on January 3.

Kyl has agreed to serve at least through the end of the year, a representative for Ducey said.

"I look forward to going to Washington and getting to work", Kyl said.

"There is no one in Arizona with the stature of Jon Kyl".

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Those who know Kyl say that he is more likely to be a bridge-builder than a Trump antagonist along the lines of McCain, Flake or Ben Sasse, R-Neb.

"No", Kyl said flatly when asked whether he might one day serve again.

Before the appointment, Kyl had been working as Kavanaugh's Senate guide, accompanying him on courtesy visits to Capitol Hill.

It was the sometimes more moderate McCain who past year thwarted fellow Republicans' attempts to undo Obamacare in a dramatic vote shortly after being diagnosed with cancer in July 2017.

"I'm very grateful to Jon Kyl for his willingness to return to public service to take my father's seat in the Senate".

Ducey, meanwhile, will placate Arizona Republicans through his own re-election bid this fall.

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