Both Meghan McCain and her mother, Cindy, tweeted their support for Kyl, who they described as a friend of the family and a statesman who is well-suited to take up McCain's mantle in the Senate. McCain's widow, Cindy chimed in on Twitter with congratulations and laudatory comments about Kyl. John McCain at a memorial service inside the Arizona State Capitol Rotunda on August 29.
"Every single day that Jon Kyl represents Arizona in the United States Senate is a day when our state is being well-served". "I am deeply grateful to senator Kyl for agreeing to succeed his friend and colleague of so many years". John McCain, R-Ariz., left, and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., leave the chamber.
In the year since McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer, Ducey - who faces a tough re-election race this year - had refused to talk about who he might appoint to the seat. State law prescribes how a vacant seat in Congress is filled after a death, resignation or expulsion.
McCain, who died of brain cancer on August 25, was last re-elected in 2016; his term will expire in 2022.
Kyl's appointment to the Senate will restore the 51-49 majority held by Republicans.
Kyl served four two-year terms in the U.S. House of Representatives before he was first elected to a six-year stint in the Senate in 1994.
Kyl is an experienced foreign policy hand and will be entering a narrowly divided Senate where Republicans could gain or lose seats in November. In other words, Kyl might serve just long enough to provide McConnell with a spare vote for confirming Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court (before his appointment, Kyl was leading the outside lobbying effort to secure Kavanaugh's confirmation) - and then step down, thereby allowing a newly reelected governor Ducey to put a younger, more ambitious conservative in his place.
Jon Kyl, shortly before he retired from the Senate.
Doug Cole, a veteran Republican consultant and former McCain aide, said Kyl was a good, safe pick.
He adds that Arizona "will be well-served by Jon's willingness to once again serve his country".
Kyl is acting as "sherpa" for Kavanaugh, leading him through the confirmation process. After retiring in 2012 he became a lobbyist for the firm Convington and Burling which represents big players in the pharmaceutical industry according to the Center for Responsive Politics. John Shadegg and Matt Salmon, and former Arizona attorney general Grant Woods. 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.