Jon Kyl sworn in as senator replacing McCain

McCain and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin left attend a campaign rally at Pima County Fairgrounds

"Upon his appointment today, Mr. Kyl said, "... when I left the Senate nearly six years ago, I had no intention of returning. John Kyl to replace the late Sen.

"John Kyl is a dear friend of mine and John's", she tweeted.

The unusual timing of Kyl's appointment could work out for another Arizona Republican who wants to become a USA senator - Rep. Martha McSally. 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.

Governor Doug Ducey scheduled a news conference Tuesday to announce his decision, after a series of memorial services for McCain last week and his burial Sunday at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he could not be happier that the "new, not-so-junior senator" will be working during a time that he described as "all hands of deck for the American people".

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".

Kyl benefits from a long Washington experience, having served a total of 26 years in Congress, 18 of them alongside McCain. ". There is no replacing John McCain, but the law requires me to do it". He was member of the House of Representative before that (from 1987 to 1995). If Kyl leaves in January, Ducey or his successor must appoint a Republican to fill the seat, according to state law. He did, however, rule out running for McCain's seat in the special election.

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Voters will decide who they want in the seat in 2020, when they elect someone to serve the rest of McCain's term.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, R, will appoint former Sen.

The GOP is hoping he'll 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 past year.

"John Kyl is a dear friend of mine and John's".

But Kyl, 76, who did not promise to stay in the Senate seat until 2020, may not serve for long after seeing through Kavanaugh's nomination. Ducey said that it is possible that Kyl will resign as soon as the end of this year when the congressional session wraps up. "Kyl could be sworn in as early as Tuesday night, though Wednesday is more likely, the aide said".

Arizona's other senator, the retiring Jeff Flake (R), tweeted, "Governor Ducey has selected Senator Jon Kyl as Senator McCain's replacement".

Kyl will be entering a narrowly divided senate where Republicans could gain or lose seats in November.