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Defeated Republican Could Still Get a Senate Seat

Supporters want Martha McSally appointed to John McCain's old seat
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2018 2:07 AM CST
Updated Nov 14, 2018 6:33 AM CST
Rep. Martha McSally talks with the crowd a Republican rally on Monday, Nov. 5, 2018 in Flagstaff, Arizona.   (AP Photo/Felicia Fonseca)
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(Newser) – After it became clear that Democrat Kyrsten Sinema had an insurmountable lead in the Arizona Senate race, Republican Martha McSally delivered a gracious concession speech—so gracious that she might end up in the Senate after all. Arizona's other Senate seat is currently held by Republican Sen. Jon Kyl, who was appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey after the death of Sen. John McCain. But Kyl only committed to serve until Jan. 3, 2019, the end of the current Congress, and there have been calls for Ducey to appoint McSally to replace him if he chooses not to continue until a 2020 special election, ABC News reports. Kyl, 76, told CNN on Tuesday that McSally "would be a very good member of the United States Senate."

Kyl—who served alongside McCain in the Senate from 1995 until he retired in 2013—declined to say whether he would continue to serve in 2019. "I'm going to be discussing my plans with the governor, and everybody else will be the second to know," he said. Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile praised McSally, the first American woman to fly a fighter jet in combat, as an example of civility. "She clearly invoked the spirit of John McCain," Brazile tells ABC. "As a veteran, she understands what it means to serve. Her calling continues." Analysts say the fact that the Senate race was extremely close helps make McSally a frontrunner to replace Kyl. (Last year, Joe Arpaio said he was considering an Arizona Senate run.)

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