Tags: 2020 Elections | arizona | martha mcsally | congress | senate | 2020

Arizona's New Sen. McSally Faces Uncertain Political Future

arizona republican martha mcsally speaks to supporters during a campaign rally
Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., will join the Senate in January. (Getty Images)

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Wednesday, 19 December 2018 11:45 AM Current | Bio | Archive

To the surprise of no one, Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., was appointed to the Senate on  Tuesday and will serve two more years of the term of the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

"I'm going to commit to holding myself to the standard of service that Sen. McCain exemplified – putting country before self, and always striving to do the right thing for Arizonans," McSally told reporters in Phoenix, shortly after Republican Gov. Doug Ducey announced her appointment.

But there are concerns among conservative Republicans in Arizona, if McSally displays some of the maverick votes that made McCain controversial on the right, the new senator will face a primary challenge when she next faces the voters in 2020.

"If she follows in Sen. McCain's footsteps, she will be in trouble with her fellow Republicans," former state GOP chairman Randy Pullen, who had long clashed with McCain, predicted to Newsmax on Tuesday night.

Pullen specifically cited the issue of illegal immigration, which he said is "the most critical issue for Republicans."

Noting McSally is "pretty solid" on border security, the former chairman said "if she moved away from that stand, as Sen. McCain clearly did, she would almost surely face a primary opponent in 2020."

Ducey spoke with McCain's widow Cindy shortly before naming McSally on Tuesday. 

McSally's appointment comes less than two months after she lost the Grand Canyon State's other Senate seat to Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz. Although the two differed sharply on most issues, McSally told reporters she would seek "common ground" with Democrat Sinema.

Democrats in Arizona have been gaining increasing political ground and are almost certain to wage a strong campaign for the Senate in 2020. Among the most oft-mentioned candidates to oppose the seat McSally will hold is Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. 

It is difficult to find an example of someone appointed to the Senate so soon after losing another Senate race.

The closest precedent was that of the late Ted Stevens, who lost the Republican primary for Senator from Alaska in the summer of 1968 and in December of that same year, was appointed to his state's other Senate seat following the death of Democratic Sen. E.L. "Bob" Bartlett.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., the newly appoint senator will face a primary challenge when she next faces the voters in 2020 if displays some of the maverick votes that made Sen. John McCain controversial on the right, according to Newsmax's John Gizzi.
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Wednesday, 19 December 2018 11:45 AM
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