The process to replace Senator John McCain’s seat in the Senate will soon begin as the country continues to mourn the maverick Republican following his death from brain cancer.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey will bear responsibility for deciding who should fill McCain’s seat, which he held onto for more than 30 years.
Under state law, Ducey will name someone to fill the Senate vacancy until 2020.
A special election will then be held for the right to finish out the last two years of McCain’s term.
Ducey, who is a Republican, will have to appoint a member of his own party to succeed McCain under state law.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (right) will bear responsibility for deciding who should fill Senator John McCain’s Senate seat, which he held onto for more than 30 years
The governor has remained tight-lipped about McCain’s successor out of respect for his family as he continued to battle his illness.
There has been speculation that McCain’s wife Cindy McCain could be chosen to fill the seat, Politico reports.
Ducey’s chief of staff Kirk Adams, former state lawmaker Barbara Barrett and former Senator Jon Kyl were all named as possible replacements, according to The Arizona Republic.
Other potential nominees that have been fueling speculation include: former Reps. Matt Salmon and John Shadegg, Karrin Taylor Robson and state treasurer Eileen Klein.
Ducey, who has refused to comment about McCain’s replacement, did rule out naming himself.
In a statement following McCain’s death, Ducey said: ‘John McCain is one American who will never be forgotten.
There has been speculation that McCain’s wife Cindy McCain could be chosen to fill the seat. The couple are pictured above in January last year
‘He was a giant. An icon. An American hero. But here at home, we were most proud to call him a fellow Arizonan.
‘Like so many of us, he was not born here, but his spirit, service and fierce independence shaped the state with which he became synonymous.’
The vacancy created by McCain’s death narrows the number of Republican-held seats in the 100-member U.S. Senate to 50, with Democrats controlling 49.
That could also give Republicans a slight edge in the battle to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court in the weeks ahead because McCain had been too ill to cast any votes this year.
A senator for Arizona for more than three decades, McCain had been suffering from glioblastoma, a brain cancer, since July 2017 and had not been at the US Capitol this year.
His family revealed on Friday that McCain was discontinuing cancer treatment.
He died on Saturday afternoon with his wife Cindy and other family members at his bedside.
‘At his death, he had served the United States of America faithfully for sixty years,’ a statement from his office said.
McCain will lie in state in both Phoenix and in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C.
He will receive a full dress funeral service at the Washington National Cathedral before being buried in Annapolis, Maryland.
Flags were flying at half-staff at the White House on Sunday morning following McCain’s death after a year-long battle with brain cancer