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McSally emerges as potential replacement for Kyl in Senate

For Rep. Martha McSally, there may be ...

Posted: Nov 14, 2018 6:47 AM
Updated: Nov 14, 2018 6:47 AM

For Rep. Martha McSally, there may be another way to get to the Senate: an appointment.

A day after the Arizona Republican conceded her Senate campaign to Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, the state's other senator, Jon Kyl, told CNN on Tuesday he has decided whether to leave office before his term ends at the end of next year. He wouldn't reveal his decision, but said he will talk to Gov. Doug Ducey about it.

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He also praised McSally, who once worked on his staff as a national security adviser, when asked about her as a potential replacement if he resigns.

"Martha McSally would be a very good member of the United States Senate, however she got there," Kyl said. "And I regret that she didn't make it in her election."

"I can't think of anybody more qualified than Martha McSally," he added.

In the interview, Kyl made clear that an appointment would be Ducey's decision, saying he didn't "want to try to try to influence that." He said his comments "have nothing to do with any potential candidate to replace me."

Later Tuesday, in a separate interview, Kyl continued to praise McSally, but said his praise was meant outside the context of an appointment "because it is strictly the governor's job and he's got a lot of factors to consider and I'm not getting in the way of that."

In September, Ducey tapped Kyl to temporarily replace former Sen. John McCain, who died in late August. At the time, Kyl said he would remain in office at least through this year -- but that he would not run for re-election in 2020, when a special election will be held to fill the remaining two years of McCain's term. It left open the possibility that Ducey would be choosing a second replacement after the midterm elections.

Kyl said Tuesday that he and his family have "pretty much come to the conclusion of what we want to do," but would not reveal that decision.

When asked if he would continue to serve in the Senate in 2019, Kyl said, "I'm going to be discussing my plans with the governor, and everybody else will be the second to know."

Aides and operatives close to Ducey deflected questions about a potential replacement for Kyl early this week.

"The governor is hopeful that Kyl will continue to serve in the appointed Senate seat through 2020," said Ducey senior adviser Daniel Ruiz. "At this point we would not speculate on a vacancy that does not exist."

Kyl said he talks to Ducey "all the time" and not to expect an announcement "anytime soon" about his future.

But in the wake of Sinema's victory in the race for Arizona's other Senate seat, some Republicans in the state buzzed about the possibility of McSally replacing Kyl.

"I don't think it's an unreasonable thing to think that he would do. The governor's kept his cards very close to his chest," said Chuck Coughlin, a veteran Arizona Republican strategist.

There are, several Arizona Republicans pointed out, significant downsides to appointing McSally, too: She's the only Republican to lose a Senate race in Arizona in 30 years. And she cast aside what had been a more moderate record on issues like immigration to align herself closely with Trump -- a departure from the tactics of Ducey, who ran as an independent-minded, business-focused governor in a runaway re-election victory.

"Hopefully she'll have learned something from this election, in terms of making herself more friendly to the Arizona electorate," Coughlin said of McSally.

McSally and Ducey aren't particularly close, Arizona Republicans said -- and McSally is just one of several possible selections. Others on the list include Karrin Taylor Robson, an Arizona Board of Regents member and real estate developer, who is well-liked by the GOP donor community; Kirk Adams, a former Arizona House speaker who is Ducey's chief of staff but widely expected to leave his office soon; and Eileen Klein, a chief of staff for former Gov. Jan Brewer who Ducey appointed state treasurer in April.

Ducey's appointment wouldn't preclude other Arizona Republicans from running in the 2020 primary in a race that's likely to be among the nation's most competitive.

Former Arizona attorney general Grant Woods, a former chief of staff for McCain, has said he is considering running for Senate as a Democrat. Former astronaut Mark Kelly, the husband of former Rep. Gabby Giffords, has also openly mulled a run. Rep. Ruben Gallego and Greg Stanton, the former Phoenix mayor who was elected to the House last week, are also on the list of potential candidates Democratic strategists have mentioned.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 145636

Reported Deaths: 3745
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto963299
Hinds9584195
Harrison6848109
Jackson6124118
Rankin528598
Lee484295
Madison4633105
Forrest368186
Jones345287
Lauderdale3350143
Lafayette315049
Washington3097107
Lamar281849
Oktibbeha239261
Bolivar239083
Lowndes228863
Neshoba2164115
Panola211749
Marshall208350
Leflore200890
Pontotoc194728
Monroe190277
Sunflower189755
Lincoln186165
Warren172257
Tate164251
Union160925
Pike160458
Copiah158940
Yazoo151239
Scott150229
Itawamba147634
Coahoma147443
Pearl River144467
Simpson144253
Alcorn143925
Prentiss140429
Grenada136945
Adams136548
Leake131843
Holmes124961
George122224
Tippah121530
Covington117636
Winston116624
Wayne115823
Hancock114139
Marion111046
Attala107833
Tishomingo106142
Newton102729
Chickasaw102432
Tallahatchie95527
Clarke88553
Clay87027
Jasper81122
Walthall75028
Stone72414
Montgomery71925
Calhoun71613
Carroll70614
Lawrence70214
Yalobusha69427
Noxubee69217
Smith68816
Perry65225
Tunica59619
Greene58422
Claiborne57416
Jefferson Davis54217
Humphreys52618
Amite51214
Benton48417
Quitman4796
Webster42014
Kemper40917
Wilkinson38622
Jefferson33811
Franklin3235
Choctaw3077
Sharkey30617
Issaquena1114
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 236865

Reported Deaths: 3472
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31043491
Mobile19446360
Tuscaloosa12684150
Madison12528146
Montgomery12122235
Shelby992276
Baldwin837684
Lee759765
Morgan626247
Calhoun6049113
Etowah600564
Marshall596153
Houston510838
DeKalb469635
Cullman421136
Limestone408844
St. Clair403955
Elmore398961
Lauderdale387253
Walker356199
Talladega339044
Jackson302524
Colbert297641
Blount282236
Autauga266139
Franklin246233
Coffee236615
Dale228454
Dallas222331
Russell21923
Chilton218537
Covington215933
Escambia196931
Tallapoosa171790
Chambers171448
Pike156014
Clarke155319
Marion135535
Winston126623
Lawrence123936
Geneva11848
Pickens117618
Marengo117424
Barbour116710
Bibb115717
Butler114341
Randolph100321
Cherokee99624
Hale93231
Washington89918
Clay89623
Fayette86216
Henry8436
Lowndes78929
Monroe77911
Cleburne75614
Macon71720
Crenshaw70330
Bullock69019
Conecuh68214
Perry6726
Lamar6337
Wilcox62818
Sumter56222
Choctaw41813
Greene41317
Coosa3144
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