Martha McSally appointed to John McCain's Senate seat

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is appointing Republican Rep. Martha McSally to the Senate, Ducey said in a statemen...

Posted: Dec 18, 2018 5:54 PM
Updated: Dec 18, 2018 5:54 PM

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is appointing Republican Rep. Martha McSally to the Senate, Ducey said in a statement Tuesday.

McSally narrowly lost a race this year to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema for Arizona's other Senate seat, which opened after Sen. Jeff Flake opted against seeking re-election.

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Instead, McSally will replace GOP Sen. Jon Kyl, who is resigning months after Ducey selected him in September to temporarily fill the seat of former Sen. John McCain, who died in August.

"With her experience and long record of service, Martha is uniquely qualified to step up and fight for Arizona's interests in the U.S. Senate. I thank her for taking on this significant responsibility and look forward to working with her and Senator-Elect Sinema to get positive things done," Ducey said in the statement.

McSally was the preferred choice of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other national Republicans who see her resume as the Air Force's first female pilot to fly in combat as the makings of a strong candidate in an increasingly challenging state, where she'll have to run in a special election to keep the job in 2020.

But McSally's loss to Sinema had left some Arizona Republicans skeptical. And her decision to embrace Donald Trump-style rhetoric on issues like immigration, rather than McCain's legacy, had led to resistance to McSally from McCain's camp.

"McSally strikes me as an unwise choice for a number of reasons. She's like an NFL team that plays down to its opponents' level - and she'll be tasked with running for re-election immediately," McCain's son-in-law, Ben Domenech, tweeted last week.

Cindy McCain, the late senator's widow, tweeted a tepid statement after Ducey's announcement Tuesday.

"My husband's greatest legacy was placing service to AZ & USA ahead of his own self-interest. I respect @dougducey's decision to appoint @RepMcSally to fill the remainder of his term. Arizonans will be pulling for her, hoping that she will follow his example of selfless leadership," she said.

Asked about the tensions between McSally and McCain's family, Ducey said he was "happy that Martha and Cindy were able to get together and visit earlier this week and clear the air."

Kyl's resignation is effective December 31, and the new Congress will be sworn in on January 3. Ducey said Sinema will be sworn in first, making her the state's senior senator, followed by McSally. They will be the first women to represent Arizona in the Senate.

Under Arizona law, a special election for the seat will be held at the same time as the next general election -- which means the Arizona seat is likely to be one of the nation's most competitive Senate races during the 2020 presidential election. Then, the seat will be on the ballot again in 2022 for a full six-year term.

After losing to Sinema, it's not yet clear whether McSally will be seen as a strong enough candidate to keep other Republicans from challenging her in a primary. Former McCain aide Grant Woods, gun control advocate Mark Kelly and Rep. Ruben Gallego, are among the potential Democratic candidates.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee responded to the announcement on Tuesday with an attack on McSally.

"Why appoint a loser when you could find a fresh face with a better shot in 2020?" DSCC spokeswoman Lauren Passalacqua said in a statement. "That's the question that will haunt Governor Ducey and the Washington Republicans who installed Martha McSally to a seat she couldn't earn. McSally was a weak candidate who ran a disrespectful campaign, and lied about her record of voting to gut pre-existing conditions coverage for 2.8 million Arizonans. Voters rejected her once, and will do so again."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319948

Reported Deaths: 7371
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22285267
Hinds20719421
Harrison18431317
Rankin13901282
Jackson13718248
Madison10263224
Lee10059176
Jones8467167
Forrest7832153
Lauderdale7261242
Lowndes6517150
Lamar635188
Lafayette6313121
Washington5425137
Bolivar4841133
Panola4670110
Oktibbeha466198
Pearl River4605147
Marshall4574105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425873
Monroe4157135
Union415777
Neshoba4063179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386987
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3371111
Alcorn327272
Scott320374
Yazoo314171
Adams308086
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298589
Tippah291968
Prentiss284161
Leake272074
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264642
Grenada264087
George252251
Newton248663
Tishomingo231868
Winston230181
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190474
Stone188433
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164134
Walthall135347
Greene131834
Lawrence131124
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127238
Amite126242
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108234
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548657

Reported Deaths: 11306
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810031566
Mobile42105831
Madison35690525
Tuscaloosa26173458
Shelby25607254
Montgomery25081614
Baldwin21868314
Lee16278176
Calhoun14719327
Morgan14629285
Etowah14175364
Marshall12453230
Houston10781287
Elmore10293214
Limestone10179157
St. Clair10162251
Cullman9952201
Lauderdale9603250
DeKalb8972190
Talladega8460184
Walker7338280
Autauga7241113
Blount6945139
Jackson6932113
Colbert6413140
Coffee5635127
Dale4928116
Russell454841
Chilton4476116
Franklin431382
Covington4275122
Tallapoosa4138155
Escambia401680
Chambers3728124
Dallas3607158
Clarke353061
Marion3240107
Pike314378
Lawrence3133100
Winston283472
Bibb268564
Geneva257981
Marengo250565
Pickens236962
Barbour234559
Hale227278
Butler224271
Fayette218862
Henry194543
Randolph187544
Cherokee187345
Monroe180041
Washington170539
Macon163051
Clay160059
Crenshaw155957
Cleburne153444
Lamar146837
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124342
Conecuh113630
Coosa111729
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93634
Choctaw62125
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Columbus
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Tropical Depression Claudette has now moved into Alabama and Georgia, leaving with some cloud cover but dry conditions. Most of us will stay dry through this Father's Day but some spotty showers will likely through the late afternoon.
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