Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has announced he is appointing Jon Kyl to succeed John McCain.
Kyl, once one of the most powerful Republicans in the U.S. Senate, returns to Congress after retiring in 2013 to become the second-highest-ranking Republican senator.
He is considered a pro-growth conservative.
Kyl has agreed to serve at least through the end of the year, if he should step down after the end of the session, the Republican governor would be required to appoint another replacement. The successor announcement was praised by McCain’s widow Cindy:
Jon Kyl is a dear friend of mine and John’s. It’s a great tribute to John that he is prepared to go back into public service to help the state of Arizona.
— Cindy McCain (@cindymccain) September 4, 2018
Governor Ducey, who has long called Kyl a mentor, contacted the former senator in the hours following McCain’s Aug. 25 death.
Former Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.), a former Freedom Caucus co-founder was quick to praise Ducey’s pick, “With (Jeff) Flake leaving and McCain’s passing, Arizona has a big hole. Kyl hits the ground running and helps to fill that big hole,” Salmon told The Hill on Tuesday. “He’s trusted and needed at this very challenging time.”