Interim Sen. Kyl of Arizona plans to leave Senate at end of...

Interim Sen. Kyl of Arizona plans to leave Senate at end of year

Former Sen. Jon Kyl, who retired from the Senate in 2013 and now practices law, sat on the Senate Judiciary Committee during four Supreme Court justices' confirmation hearings.(Courtesy of Kyl's former official Twitter account.)

WASHINGTON — Interim Senator Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) announced Friday that he will leave the upper chamber at the end of the year, setting the stage for Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to appoint someone else to fill the seat held by the late Republican Sen. John McCain.

Ducey initially said that he hoped Kyl would serve in the Senate until 2020, when a special election for the remainder of McCain’s term will be held.

Kyl was non-committal on the prospect, but said in a letter to Ducey on Friday that it would be best to step down at the end of the year to give the next appointee the chance to start with the next Congressional session with the rest of the Senate and serve at least two full years.

In a series of tweets, Ducey thanked Kyl, who had previously served in the Senate from 1995-2013, for stepping in at a vital time.

Ducey has not yet indicated who he will tap next, but said in a statement that an announcement will come in the “near future.”

Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) was long rumored to be a leading contender, but the Washington Post reported Thursday that the lawmaker, who ran for Senate but was defeated in November’s midterm elections, has fallen out of favor.

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