Following the death of Sen. John McCain on Saturday, there has been a mass outpouring of tributes to the former prisoner of war, although it has also left many people wondering what will happen to the Arizona Republican’s seat.

McCain served in the Senate for 31 years. Arizona state law grants Gov. Doug Ducey the authority to name a replacement for McCain for the next two years. After that, a special election would be held in 2020 to determine who serves the final two years of McCain’s term. The appointed replacement must be a member of the GOP, according to state law. That seat would then be up again in 2022.

Ducey has avoided discussing what would happen with McCain’s seat out of respect for the now-deceased senator — who had been battling brain cancer since being diagnosed in July 2017 — and his family. McCain ran for president in 2000 and 2008.


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Politico reported that one of the people whose name has been most recently floated as a possible replacement for the late senator is his own wife, Cindy McCain. Among the other potential appointees who are speculated to replace John McCain are former Sen. Jon Kyl, who retired in 2013, former Reps. John Shadegg and Matt Salmon and Arizona state treasurer Eileen Klein.

Ducey is currently up for re-election this fall, and will face off against former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett.

McCain is expected to be buried at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery.

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