With this letter — dated Dec. 12, 2018, and hand-delivered to the Ninth Floor Governor’s office — Jon Kyl, back for a second senate stint, this time as a temporary seat holder, notified Gov. Doug Ducey that he would be leaving at the witching hour on Dec. 31. This move gives Ducey the ability to fill the senate seat for two years, until the next election cycle.
Following his retirement in 2013, Kyl returned to lobbying at the influential Washington D.C. law and lobbying firm Covington & Burling, a much more lucrative gig than the U.S. Senate. The firm has offices worldwide from Beijing to D.C.
Among the Republicans whose names are being bandied about as potential replacements for the open GOP senate seat are: Rep. Martha McSally, who lost a campaign for Arizona’s other Senate seat earlier this year by just 2.25%; Kirk Adams, who recently resigned as Ducey’s chief of staff, previously lost the GOP congressional primary to Matt Salmon in 2012; and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, in office since winning a special election in 2010. Others, such as state Treasurer Eileen Klein, with less name ID have been mentioned. Klein, the former president of the Arizona Board of Regents, was appointed by Ducey to fill the post after Treasurer Jeff DeWit resigned to become CFO of NASA.
One thing is certain, appointing his former boss, Cindy Hensley McCain, to fill the seat held by her now-deceased husband, would not play out well for Ducey. When Doug Ducey initially arrived in Arizona in 1983 to attend ASU, he worked at Hensley & Co., the Anheuser-Busch distributorship owned by Cindy Lou Hensley McCain. The Ducey and McCain families have remained close.
In a news release, Ducey announced he will appoint a replacement “in the near future.” SRAZ’s readers are invited to contribute better choices for this critically important seat. John McCain, first elected in 1982, spent over three decades colluding with Democrats and stabbing Republicans in the back.