Martha McSally was the Republican nominee for Senate during the 2018 midterms in Arizona. She lost to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema by roughly 55,900 votes. But many are speculating that McSally could still end up representing Arizona in the U.S. Senate. Jon Kyl, who was tapped to replace former Senator John McCain after his death said he will not stay in the Senate after this session ends. McCain's term doesn't end until 2022, but Kyl has remained adamant that he will not serve past this year. This leads to the question of who will replace him next year. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has the power to appoint Kyl's replacement if he decides to leave at the end of this session. Several think McSally will be the name he chooses. McSally would have a tough road ahead. It could be easier for her to win elections because she would be considered the incumbent.
State law requires that the Governor appoint someone of the same political party as the late senator. That would mean a Republican would have to be appointed, causing speculation that McSally would be that person. If appointed, she would have a tough road ahead of her. There would be a special election in 2020 to fill McCain's term, and then another election in 2022 to start a new term. All of this comes just weeks after Sinema defeated her in the Senate election. Most think that McSally is the front-runner for the seat.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is lobbying hard to get her in the Senate. Other possible situations could arise such as Governor Ducey appointing himself to fill the seat. This one seems unlikely, however, considering if he does appoint himself, the next person to take the governorship would be Secretary of State-elect, Katie Hobbs, who is a Democrat. McSally is the strong front-runner for the seat and could end up next to her former opponent. We'll have to see how it plays out in the end, and we will certainly know who will or will not be filling this seat within the next few weeks.