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Martha McSally Appointed to Fill John McCain’s Former Senate Seat

Martha McSally wait in line at a polling station in Tempe, Ariz., November 6, 2018. (Lindsey Wasson/File Photo/Reuters)

Representative Martha McSally (R., Ariz.) will be appointed to fill the late John McCain’s former Senate seat following the retirement of his initial successor, Senator Jon Kyl (R., Ariz.) at the end of the year.

Arizona governor Doug Ducey announced Tuesday that McSally, who lost a contest for Arizona’s other Senate seat to Democrat Krysten Sinema in November, will replace Kyl in January.

“All her life, Martha has put service first — leading in the toughest of fights and at the toughest of times,” Ducey said in his statement. “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.”

McSally, who distinguished herself early in her career as the first female fighter pilot to serve in combat, said she was “humbled and grateful” for the opportunity to serve.

“I am humbled and grateful to have this opportunity to serve and be a voice for all Arizonans,” McSally’s statement said. “I look forward to working with Senator-Elect Kyrsten Sinema and getting to work from day one.”

Following McCain’s death in August, Kyl returned to the upper chamber at Ducey’s request after retiring his Senate seat in 2013. Kyl announced last week that he would serve through the end of the current legislative session and vacate his seat effective December 31.

Cindy McCain expressed hope that McSally would continue her husband’s legacy of service above self interest in a Tuesday tweet.

“My husband’s greatest legacy was placing service to AZ & USA ahead of his own self-interest,” she wrote. “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.”

McSally’s seat will once again be on the ballot in 2020.

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