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The Latest: Kyl likely to be sworn in on Wednesday

September 4, 2018
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Former Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., answers a question after Gov. Doug Ducey, R-Ariz., announced the appointment of Kyl to fill Sen. John McCain's seat in the U.S. Senate at a news conference at the Arizona Capitol Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on former U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl’s appointment to replace John McCain (all times local):

4:40 p.m.

A spokesman for the Arizona governor says Jon Kyl could be sworn in as a U.S. senator as soon as Tuesday evening but it will likely occur Wednesday.

Daniel Ruiz II, a spokesman for Gov. Doug Ducey, disclosed the timing hours after Ducey appointed Kyl to fill the seat left vacant by the death of John McCain.

Kyl has only committed to fill the seat until the end of the current congressional session on Jan. 3.

Kyl served three terms in the Senate before retiring in 2012.

Earlier Tuesday, he went from a news conference at the Arizona Capitol to the Phoenix airport to fly to Washington.

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11:25 a.m.

Meghan McCain is praising former Sen. Jon Kyl’s willingness to go back to the Senate and replace her father, who died of brain cancer last month.

She says she can “think of no one better to keep fighting for the country and state he held so dear.”

The Republican Kyl served previously as one of Arizona’s two senators, alongside McCain.

Meghan McCain on Tuesday tweeted that Kyl is “a true statesman and a friend to my family.”

Kyl was appointed by Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey but agreed only to a brief appointment through January 2019.

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10:50 a.m.

Former Sen Jon Kyl has only agreed to a brief appointment filling the late John McCain’s senate seat.

That could help another Arizona Republican who is currently trying to join the U.S. Senate — Rep. Martha McSally.

McSally is running against Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema for an open senate seat in November.

Analysts rate the contest as a toss-up. If McSally loses, she’d be out of a job just in time for Kyl’s appointment to end on Jan. 3.

Arizona’s governor would be required by state law to appoint another Republican before the 2020 election.

She’s a former Air Force colonel and the first female combat pilot.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said on Tuesday he wants Kyl to serve the entire stretch until 2020. Kyl was openly reluctant.

Notably, Kyl is close to McSally. She worked for Kyl as a national security adviser.

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10:45 a.m.

Former Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl is well-respected in Arizona and has been able to avoid many of the battles with activists that complicated the late John McCain’s career and that of the state’s other senator, Jeff Flake. Flake is retiring because his feud with Trump made his re-election impossible.

Kyl was appointed on Tuesday to serve as the replacement for McCain, who died of brain cancer.

McCain’s widow, Cindy, tweeted: “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.”

Veteran Republican consultant and former McCain aide Doug Cole called Kyl a good, safe pick.

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10:40 a.m.

The replacement for the late John McCain in the Senate is currently shepherding Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The appointment of the Republican Jon Kyl’s on Tuesday by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey may make it possible for him to vote for the nomination.

Ducey, also a Republican, added the hashtag #KavanaughConfirmation to his announcement.

Kyl is an experienced foreign policy hand and will be entering a narrowly divided Senate where Republicans could gain or lose seats in November.

The GOP is hoping he’ll be a more reliable partisan vote than McCain, whose opposition to a partial repeal of President Obama’s health care law pitched the party into turmoil last year.

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10:30 a.m.

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake is praising the selection of former U.S. Sen Jon Kyl to replace the late John McCain in the Senate.

The Republican Flake says in a statement that “there is no one more qualified” than Kyl, a Republican.

He adds that Arizona “will be well-served by Jon’s willingness to once again serve his country.”

Arizona’s Republican Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday announced that Kyl would replace McCain and serve at least until January 2019.

McCain died Aug. 25 of brain cancer and served with Kyl in the Senate for years.

Flake decided not to run for re-election this year.

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10:25 a.m.

Former U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl says he’s grateful for the confidence of the Arizona governor and that he will do his best to ensure the state continues to be well-represented as he takes over John McCain’s Senate seat.

Kyl said Tuesday that he has committed to serving through the year and won’t seek office in 2020. He said a “sense of duty” drove his decision to take the appointment.

Voters in 2020 will get to decide who fills the remainder of McCain’s seat through 2022. Then the seat will be up again for a full six-year term.

Gov. Doug Ducey announced Kyl would replace McCain on Twitter minutes before a scheduled news conference.

McCain died Aug. 25 of brain cancer and served with Kyl in the Senate for years.

10:20 a.m.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey says former Republican Sen. Jon Kyl is ready to cast a vote for Brett Kavanaugh to be nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ducey says Kyl has already worked closely with the White House on the nomination for months.

Ducey also says he hopes Kyl will serve longer than his commitment to fill the seat until January 2019.

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10:15 a.m.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey says former Republican Sen. Jon Kyl has only committed to fill the Senate seat of the late John McCain through January of 2019.

The Republican Ducey says he hopes that Kyl will serve longer.

Kyl says he did not want to commit for a longer period because when he left his Senate seat previously he had no intention of returning.

He says: “In that spirit I am certainly willing to serve through the end of this session.”

Kyl says he doesn’t want to make a commitment beyond that.

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9:40 a.m.

Sen. John McCain’s widow says former Sen. Jon Kyl will fill her late husband’s seat.

Cindy McCain made the statement on Twitter minutes before Arizona’s Republican Gov. Doug Ducey was due to make the formal announcement.

Kyl, a Republican, is currently shepherding Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. His appointment may make it possible for him to vote for the nomination.

He is expected to be a placeholder, not running in 2020, when voters will get to decide who fills the remainder of McCain’s seat through 2022. Then the seat will be up again for a full six-year term.

Kyl will be entering a narrowly divided senate where Republicans could gain or lose seats in November.

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