Former Arizona Senator Jon Kyl named as John McCain’s replacement

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The former GOP senator shepherding President Trump’s Supreme Court pick through his confirmation process will temporarily fill the Senate seat left empty in the wake of John McCain’s death.

Retired Sen. Jon Kyl has only committed to serve in McCain’s place until the end of the year, according to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, who announced his appointment Tuesday.

“It’s my hope that he serves longer.” Ducey, a Republican, said, adding Kyl was “the best possible person, regardless of politics.”

Kyl, who spent 18 years on the chamber’s Judiciary Committee before stepping down from the Senate in 2012, has spent the summer acting as a political sherpa to Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

His appointment now allows him to vote for the nomination.

McCain’s widow, Cindy McCain, disclosed the choice shortly ahead of Ducey’s news conference.

“Jon Kyl is a dear friend of mine and John’s. It’s a great tribute to John that he is prepared to go back into public service to help the state of Arizona,” she wrote on Twitter.

Kyl could technically fill the seat until the next general election in 2020. He has said he won’t run for a full term.

The conservative former pol will pad Republicans’ narrow margin in the Senate. They hold a 51-49 majority, but McCain stayed in Arizona for much of the past year as he was being treated for brain cancer that killed him on Aug. 25.

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