Former Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl to succeed McCain in the Senate

The three-term senator will hold the seat until 2019, media reports state

Former Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl will replace the late Sen. John McCain in the U.S. Senate, Gov. Doug Ducey announced Tuesday.

Kyl will fill the seat until the beginning of the next session of Congress in January of 2019, but may consider staying until 2020 when a special election will be held to fill the seat, according to media reports.

“There is no one in Arizona more prepared to represent our state in the U.S. Senate than Jon Kyl," Ducey said in a statement Tuesday. "Every single day that Jon Kyl represents Arizona in the United States Senate is a day when our state is being well-served."

The three-term Senator, who served alongside McCain from 1995 to 2013, spoke at his memorial and was seen as one of the top contenders for the seat as a former top-ranking Republican lawmaker.

Additionally, Kyl was a fierce advocate for water rights in Arizona, inspiring the Kyl Institute for Water Policy at ASU to be named after him.

In a statement, the former senator lauded the late John McCain and said that he was committed to finishing the work started by McCain in the last term. 

“John and I served the people of Arizona for nearly two decades, and in that spirit, along with Senator Flake, I will do my best to ensure Arizonans are well represented in the Senate," Kyl said. "There is much-unfinished business, including confirmation of President Trump’s nominees for judicial and executive branch positions, and I look forward to getting to work on behalf of my fellow Arizonans."

Related: ASU students and staff mourn the loss of Sen. John McCain at Arizona State Capitol

Reach the reporter at or follow @isaacdwindes on Twitter.

Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on Twitter.

Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.