Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) will appoint Rep. Martha McSally (R) to the Senate seat that was vacated earlier this year by the death of John McCain (R), Ducey announced Tuesday. Longtime former Sen. Jon Kyl (R) had been filling the seat on a temporary basis.
In a statement, Ducey said, "With her experience and long record of service, Martha [who served in the military and had six deployments to the Middle East and Afghanistan] is uniquely qualified to step up and fight for Arizona's interests in the U.S. Senate."
"All her life, Martha has put service first — leading in the toughest of fights and at the toughest of times," he added. "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 [Kyrsten] Sinema to get positive things done."
Ducey initially chose Kyl to fill the vacant seat of McCain, but Kyl announced that he would resign at the year's end.
McSally will likely face a 2020 special election. The state will also hold another Senate election for the seat in 2022, when McCain's original term would have ended. Many consider the state to be one of the Democrats' best opportunities to pick up a Senate seat in 2020.
In a statement, McSally responded to the governor's announcement and said, "I am humbled and grateful to have this opportunity to serve and be a voice for all Arizonans. I look forward to working with Sen.-elect Kyrsten Sinema and getting to work from day one."
McSally lost November's Senate election to Sinema as the two battled for the seat of retiring Sen. Jeff Flake (R).
Ducey and McSally are expected to deliver remarks at a joint news conference in Phoenix on Tuesday.
This story is developing and will be updated as events warrant.