Arizona governor won't name Sen. John McCain's successor until after funeral. He has only one firm criterion.

A memorial to Sen. John McCain in Arizona
(Image credit: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) says he won't fill the Senate seat left empty by Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) death until after McCain is buried at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland, following his funeral at Washington National Cathedral on Saturday morning. "Now is a time for remembering and honoring a consequential life well lived," Ducey spokesman Daniel Ruiz said Sunday. Ducey has to pick a Republican to serve until a special election in 2020, but other than that he has free rein to pick McCain's successor.

The names being floated include McCain's 64-year-old widow, Cindy McCain; former Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.); Ducey's chief of staff, Kirk Adams; McCain's former chief of staff Grant Woods; former Reps. John Shadegg and Matt Salmon; and recently appointed Arizona state Treasurer Eileen Klein. Arizona's GOP is pretty sharply divided, and Washington Republicans are anxious that Ducey pick a reliable vote for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. "Ducey's office has heard from Vice President Mike Pence's aides about the choice," a person familiar with the discussions told The Associated Press on Sunday.

Before McCain's funeral, he will lie in state in the Arizona State Capitol's Rotunda on Wednesday, his birthday, and there will be a memorial service at the North Phoenix Baptist Church on Thursday. McCain will then be awarded the rare honor of lying in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. According to Axios, only 30 other people have been honored that way since 1952.

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.