The state of Arizona will have to fill the senate seat the late John McCain occupied for 31 years — and his successor could be decided in a courtroom.
Arizona law requires the state’s governor appoint an interim successor when a senate seat is left vacant. McCain, who would have turned 82 next week, succumbed to brain cancer on Saturday.
Unless the governor calls for a special election, voters would decide on who fills the seat during the next general election which, in this case, will be in November. The governor’s appointee has to come from the same political party as the person who left the seat.
However, Arizona state law requires that challengers for that senate seat in the general election would have to file a petition 90 days prior to the state primary, which is Tuesday.
That means whomever Arizona’s republic governor Doug Ducey picks to fill McCain’s seat would not only hold the position through the end of the current term, but would be there until the next general election, which is in 2020.
According to ABC News, Democrats could challenge that 90-day rule in court and force “a special election” for McCain’s seat. Arizona’s other senate seat is also up for grabs in the November election. Sen. Jeff Flake, who was elected in 2013, announced in October 2017 what he would retire at the end of his term.
The outcome of the senate situation in Arizona could have a national impact, considering this midterm for control of the Congress is being viewed as a referendum on President Trump’s agenda.
Congress is also being asked to confirm the President’s appointment of judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court.
There is even a possibility that impeachment could be a topic of conversation among senators as special investigator Robert Mueller continues to probe wrongdoing in the 2016 presidential election. Last week, Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, confessed to paying women who allegedly had affairs with The Donald to keep quiet so their stories wouldn’t influence the election. Cohen said he did so under the direction of the President, which Trump denies. That would be a federal offense.
While both McCain and Flake are Republicans, they have been outspoken critics of the President — and the animosity has been mutua
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