WASHINGTON – Two days after the death of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) from complications related to brain cancer, it is unclear who will be appointed to his seat.
Republican Gov. Doug Ducey has said he will not a name a successor until McCain’s memorial and funeral services have concluded.
Services are planned in Arizona and Washington, Wednesday through Saturday. McCain’s burial will take place Sunday in a private ceremony at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
Under Arizona law, McCain’s successor will face a special election contest in 2020. If the appointee wins the special election he or she would serve the remainder of the term, which ends in Jan. 2023.
Media outlets have floated several possible successors.
Cindy McCain – The 64-year-old widow of the late-senator is said to be at the top of the list. She often was seen on the campaign trail with McCain and is a passionate spokesperson in the fight against human trafficking. She and McCain were married for 38 years.
Kirk Adams – The 45-year-old former state legislator has served as Ducey’s chief of staff since 2014. Adams is a former congressional candidate.
Barbara Barrett: The 67-year-old businesswoman served as ambassador to Finland during the final year of the administration of President George W. Bush. Barrett ran for Arizona governor in 1994.
Jon Kyl: Kyl served in the U.S. Senate from 1995-2013. He is a lobbyist with the Washington, D.C. law firm Covington & Burling. The White House selected Kyl to shepherd Supreme Court-nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh around Capitol Hill to meet with senators in the lead-up to confirmation hearings. The hearings are scheduled to begin after Labor Day.
McCain was elected to the Senate in 1986 and served in the upper chamber for more than 30 years. He was the Republican nominee for president in 2008. McCain died on Saturday at the age of 81.
Arizona primary voters head to the polls Tuesday to cast ballots in the contest to replace retiring Republican Sen. Jeff Flake.