Jon Kyl, the Republican appointment to fill the vacant Arizona Senate seat following John McCain’s death, will resign from the U.S. Senate at the end of the month.
In a letter to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey dated December 12, the Senator thanked the governor for the appointment, adding that it “has been an honor and a privilege to again serve the people of Arizona,” but confirmed that he would leave the position on December 31.
AZCentral reported Kyl wrote, “when I accepted your appointment, I agreed to complete the work of the 115th Congress and then reevaluate continuing to serve. I have concluded that it would be best if I resign so that your new appointee can begin the new term with all other Senators in January.”
Kyl, who served alongside McCain in the Senate, was appointed to fill the seat following McCain’s death in August. It was understood he would serve until at least the end of 2018, with the possibility of staying in the seat until it is up for reelection in 2020.
Governor Ducey praised Kyl for his services, adding that the Senator served his 2018 stint with, “integrity and statesmanship,” AZCentral reported. “I remain deeply grateful for his willingness to step up and serve again when Arizona needed him,” the governor remarked, “I wish him and his family all the best.”
There has been much speculation in recent weeks over who may replace Kyl. Three names appear to be leading the discussions. Martha McSally, the Republican candidate in the race for Arizona’s other Senate seat, is Mitch McConnell’s first choice. She lost out to her Democratic opponent, Krysten Sinema, in one of the tightest races in the country.
McSally proved capable of raising significant funding from prominent Republican donors. Ducey also met with McSally recently, however, it is unknown if the topic of a possible Senate appointment was raised.
Also in the mix are Kirk Adams, the former speaker of the Arizona House and Ducey’s personal chief of staff, and Eileen Klein, the Arizona state treasurer.
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Oliver is a UK-born freelance writer and journalist based in Boston. He is a self-confessed politics junkie with a passion for foreign and environmental policy. His work has been featured on Open Democracy, International Policy Digest, and the London Economic. He was a regular contributor for ASEAN Today.