Cindy McCain, wife of the late Republican U.S. Senator John McCain, has emerged as one of the more prominent names of possible appointees to succeed him, along with several former members of Arizona’s congressional delegation.
The appointment rests with Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey, who has said he would wait until after McCain’s burial on Sunday to announce a decision and is not considering himself for the job. McCain died on Saturday from brain cancer at age 81.
Under state law, the replacement named by Ducey would assume McCain’s seat through the 2020 U.S. general election but would need to run for election that year to fill out the rest of McCain’s term, which ends in January 2023.
Ducey might, therefore, appoint a “caretaker” successor – someone without longer-term political aspirations – to give the Republican Party more time to consider its best nominee for 2020 and beyond.
That choice could hinge on the outcome of this year’s congressional elections. McCain and Arizona’s junior U.S. senator, Republican Jeff Flake, who is retiring at the end of this year, were both outspoken critics of President Donald Trump, a dynamic that put Arizona at the forefront of deep divisions within the Republican Party. Trump tweeted his support on Monday for Ducey’s re-election bid.
The governor was expected to easily win his party’s nomination for a second term in Tuesday’s gubernatorial primary. The following is a list of the some of the names most frequently mentioned as possible appointees to succeed McCain, according to Republican political consultants and various media outlets, including the state’s leading newspaper, the Arizona Republic.
Cindy McCain The 64-year-old Phoenix native is a philanthropist and controlling owner and chairwoman of the Hensley Beverage Company, a beer distributor founded by her father. She also has taken a prominent role in the fight against human trafficking. The couple met in 1979 and married the following year after his divorce from his first wife, Carol.
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