Image Credits: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Despite coming in a very close second in the November midterm election, Rep. Martha McSally, a former fighter pilot in the military, will be headed to the Senate after all.

When Senator John McCain died in August, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced that former Senator Jon Kyl would fill his seat until a new election could be held. Now, less than six months after taking the job, Kyl, who also served as a sherpa for now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, is stepping down.

Ducey announced this past week that Rep. Martha McSally would step in and fill the McCain’s seat until the next election, assuming she doesn’t step down before the election, scheduled for November 3, 2020.

In a statement announced the appointment, Governor Ducey said,

“All her life, Martha has put service first — leading in the toughest of fights and at the toughest of times. She served 26 years in the military; deployed six times to the Middle East and Afghanistan; was the first woman to fly in combat and command a fighter squadron in combat; and she’s represented Southern Arizona in Congress for the past four years. With her experience and long record of service, Martha is uniquely qualified to step up and fight for Arizona’s interests in the U.S. Senate. I thank her for taking on this significant responsibility and look forward to working with her and Senator-Elect Sinema to get positive things done.”

McSally said that she looks forward to working with Democratic Senator-Elect Kyrsten Sinema, who was slated to be the first female Senator from the state, though McSally may beat her if she is sworn in before January.

“Over the last year,” McSally said, “I’ve traveled across this great state, meeting with countless Arizonans, and listening to them. I’ve heard about the challenges they face and the hopes they have for the future – and I’ve learned a lot. I am humbled and grateful to have this opportunity to serve and be a voice for all Arizonans. I look forward to working with Senator-Elect Kyrsten Sinema and getting to work from day one.”

McSally and Sinema battled each other in a contentious general election that stretched on many days after the voting places closed, as absentee voters were debated and counted and recounted. Eventually, Sinema was declared the victor 50 to 47.6. A mere 55,900 votes separated them when the race was called. During the primary, Sinema was routinely criticized for previous comments she had made referring to Arizona as “the meth lab of democracy” and “famous in a Lindsey Lohan kind of way” as well as saying that she “didn’t care” if Americans joined the Taliban. Sinema, of course, decried many of McSally’s conservative positions.

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member