Back in November, U.S. Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) suffered a heartbreaking defeat to progressive Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) in a heavily watched race for outgoing Republican Sen. Jeff Flake’s seat.
After early ballots were counted, Sinema got the marginal 1.7-percent lead she needed to gain a huge victory for the left, AZCentral reported.
But now something very, very interesting has happened. McSally will get to be a senator after all.
According to Fox News, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced on Tuesday that he had appointed McSally to fill the late Republican Sen. John McCain’s seat. McCain, who passed away in August, was replaced by former Sen. Jon Kyl. But Kyl is resigning at the end of the year.
This new development means that Sinema and McSally — now the first two female senators in Arizona history, respectively — will be colleagues in D.C., opposing each other often, but at times expected to work together, too.
The appointment of McSally — the first female U.S. fighter pilot to fly in combat — to McCain’s seat brought praise from the Trump administration via White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders during a press conference Tuesday afternoon. But McCain’s wife, Cindy, didn’t seem thrilled in the careful wording of her own congratulations for McSally.
“My husband’s greatest legacy was placing service to AZ & USA ahead of his own self-interest,” she wrote on Twitter. “I respect @dougducey's decision to appoint @RepMcSally to fill the remainder of his term. Arizonans will be pulling for her, hoping that she will follow his example of selfless leadership.”
Liberals were hopping madder than a dance troupe on hot coals over the governor’s appointment. They freely expressed their anger on Twitter.
McSally’s appointment is a major victory for Republicans, though, who believe she lost by such a tight margin due to voter fraud. She drew widespread congratulations, including from Flake.
Others have also pointed out that Arizona has essentially gotten what it wanted: it’s first choice, Sinema, and it’s second choice, McSally. The former fighter pilot will need to be elected in 2020 to keep her new seat.