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Who will fill John McCain's Senate seat?

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) is charged with filling the Senate seat vacated by John McCain. CNN's Miguel Marquez looks at who is in the running to replace the late senator.

Posted: Aug 28, 2018 12:16 PM
Updated: Aug 28, 2018 12:29 PM

As the nation mourns the death of John McCain, Arizona's Republican governor must soon decide who will replace him in the Senate.

Under Arizona law, it's up to Gov. Doug Ducey to fill Senate vacancies until a special election is held in 2020. He said in a statement that he would not name a successor until after McCain was buried later this week.

"Now is a time for remembering and honoring a consequential life well lived," Ducey said in the statement.

In the year since McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer, Ducey -- who faces a tough re-election race this year -- has refused to talk about who he might appoint to the seat.

Now required to fill the vacancy, Ducey faces major questions that could steer his decision. Among them: Will he seek a placeholder who won't run for re-election in 2020? And did McCain indicate who he'd like to fill the job?

Ducey must pick a member of the same political party as McCain, which means the seat will remain in GOP hands.

The governor has said he will not appoint himself.

Asked about potential McCain replacements, three Arizona Republicans pointed to Ducey's chief of staff, Kirk Adams, as a leading potential choice.

Adams, a 45-year-old former state House speaker and congressional candidate, could run for re-election himself. Or he could play a role similar to former Florida Sen. George LeMieux -- who then-Gov. Charlie Crist appointed, only for LeMieux to step aside two years later when Crist ran for the Senate seat -- if Ducey wants to run for the Senate seat in 2020.

Republicans also pointed to Karrin Taylor Robson, an Arizona Board of Regents member and real estate developer, who is well-liked by the GOP donor community, and Eileen Klein, a chief of staff for former Gov. Jan Brewer who Ducey appointed state treasurer in April.

Another option Arizona Republicans raised includes Cindy McCain, John McCain's wife, who is also chairwoman of her family's beer distribution business and an advocate against human trafficking who has filled in for her husband at public events at times after his diagnosis.

Ducey could also consider former Sen. Jon Kyl, whom he has called a mentor, and former Reps. John Shadegg and Matt Salmon, who has lobbied for Arizona State University since retiring from Congress after the 2016 election.

Because the vacancy occurred after the state's cut-off date of May 30, the special election will take place in 2020, rather than 2018.

The winner of the special election will hold the seat for the remaining two years of McCain's term. Then, in 2022, the seat will be on the ballot for a full six-year term.

The races are likely to be highly competitive. Arizona, once a ruby-red Republican stronghold, has moved leftward in recent years. The state's race this year to replace retiring Sen. Jeff Flake is one of the nation's marquee contests and is crucial to determining which party controls the Senate.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 473413

Reported Deaths: 9214
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32339474
Hinds30703575
DeSoto29814346
Jackson23263336
Rankin21111358
Lee14600217
Madison14043265
Jones13165218
Forrest12953233
Lauderdale11418297
Lowndes10249175
Lamar10048128
Pearl River8737209
Lafayette8078136
Hancock7324111
Washington6837147
Oktibbeha6820118
Neshoba6404201
Monroe6372158
Warren6326161
Pontotoc610393
Panola6071124
Bolivar6016143
Marshall5972118
Union564086
Pike5491133
Lincoln5232130
Alcorn520888
George457868
Scott451993
Leflore4401140
Prentiss437276
Itawamba436198
Tippah436180
Simpson4268111
Copiah425586
Wayne424863
Tate4234100
Adams4219114
Yazoo415886
Sunflower4088104
Covington407391
Marion4032100
Leake393185
Coahoma388198
Newton364474
Grenada3517101
Stone345657
Tishomingo324888
Attala321185
Jasper310262
Winston300391
Clay288273
Chickasaw282164
Clarke277487
Calhoun259739
Holmes259485
Smith243947
Yalobusha216747
Tallahatchie215649
Walthall205557
Greene204045
Lawrence203831
Perry196453
Amite193751
Webster191941
Noxubee174538
Montgomery169853
Jefferson Davis165541
Carroll159937
Tunica148434
Benton139433
Kemper137439
Claiborne125634
Choctaw124925
Humphreys123337
Franklin115227
Quitman101825
Wilkinson99835
Jefferson86632
Sharkey62120
Issaquena1916
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 768301

Reported Deaths: 13209
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1093481727
Mobile699891179
Madison48418589
Baldwin35707452
Shelby35193291
Tuscaloosa33029512
Montgomery32582664
Lee21908204
Calhoun20140377
Morgan19351318
Etowah18583433
Marshall17272259
Houston16139353
St. Clair14956276
Limestone14129180
Cullman14069235
Elmore14010245
Lauderdale13128272
Talladega12399215
DeKalb11890229
Walker10231312
Autauga9493127
Blount9418149
Jackson9115136
Coffee8646161
Colbert8324169
Dale8284159
Escambia6456106
Tallapoosa6394168
Covington6313157
Chilton6243133
Russell591654
Franklin563597
Chambers5240132
Marion4628115
Dallas4626178
Clarke451471
Pike450091
Geneva4252106
Winston407987
Lawrence4046102
Bibb396177
Barbour338968
Marengo320981
Monroe311547
Butler309783
Pickens298769
Randolph294055
Henry293856
Hale286081
Cherokee279850
Fayette272271
Washington243545
Crenshaw232265
Clay221561
Macon214454
Cleburne209748
Lamar187839
Conecuh177139
Lowndes169056
Coosa163631
Wilcox154335
Bullock147142
Perry134235
Sumter123335
Greene119241
Choctaw72325
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Occasional areas of rain and some scattered thunderstorms will be in store for most of the weekend. However, good news by later sections of next week, as cooler and drier air will work its way into our weather forecast.
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