So now that John McCain is dead how soon can Arizona hold a special election to fill out the remainder of his term? Is it too late to hold one at the name time as the general election in November? At the other extreme could the Governor just appoint a replacement and hold off on the special election until the 2020 general election?
Per the Washington Post, the Governor of Arizona will appoint a replacement to serve until November of 2020. Had McCain passed prior to May 30, there would have been a special election this fall.
AZ law doesn’t have an election for Senate until the next general election cycle. The law also requires the appointee that fills the seat in the meantime be of the same party as the person vacating it. The filing deadline for this cycle was May 30th. I can’t find a good cite at the moment but I recall earlier in the year seeing the Secretary of State interpreting that filing deadline as the close of being able to fill the Senate seat in this cycle.
Assuuming, my memory is right and that interpretation isn’t both challenged and overturned in court, a republican will be appointed to McCain’s seat. That appointee will hold the seat until replaced by the winner of a Nov 2020 election. That winner will then complete McCain’s original term.
Or had he resigned. It’s one of the things for which I’ll have a hard time forgiving him. If he really believed in the Will of the People™, he’d have resigned and allowed them to actually have their say.
I just can’t find it in me to get choked up about McCain right now. I feel the same way about McCain’s death as I did about Anthony Kennedy’s retirement. If people would just stop believing in the good conservative myth and look at the raw truth, they’d see the irreversible damage he and his political street gang have done to our political system. They’ve brought us to the brink of a constitutional crisis. I just can’t find it in me to really give a shit right now.
This is GQ. Both of you should be well aware that political potshots are not allowed in this forum. This is an official warning. Do not do this again. Take your political opinions to an appropriate forum.
General Questions Moderator
I think it would have to be 2020 at this point, even if the state authorities didn’t impose that May 30th deadline. There would presumably be a primary, and AFAIK military and overseas voters would have to be sent ballots 45 days before each phase. Give a week for filing and a week for counting the primary, and that’s 104 days, which is well into December.
I am sorry. I didn’t realize it was GQ and should have taken note of that.
Thank you for the acknowledgement.
Although it’s too late in Arizona, other states can and do allow quicker elections. For example in Washington State Senator “Scoop” Jackson died on September 1, 1983. An special election was carried out Nov. 3, 1983 for the remainder of his term until 1988.
John’s death didn’t come as a surprise. I’d expect that the governor has already selected someone to appoint.
It probably won’t be announced until after the funeral.
Does “of the same party” have a specific definition? If the governor wants to appoint his nephew, Dave Democrat, could Dave just change his party affiliation to Republican?
Yesterday’s Votemaster: https://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2018/Senate/Maps/Aug25.html#item-7 had an interesting discussion of the possibilities for McCain’s possible replacement.
He may have been hesitant to leave a vacant seat in the Senate for Nevada for the 6-7 months until a newly-elected Senator would be sworn in. Given how close the Senate divide is, and the fact that he had already been the one vote to block Trump’s effort to kill Obamacare, he might have wanted to retain his vote just in case. (His current attitude toward Trump is clearly indicated by his asking Obama & Bush to jointly give the eulogy at his funeral, and specifically asking that Trump not be invited.)
John’s wife Cindy is a natural choice. There’s a long precedent for appointing the spouse of a deceased politician.
But, she may not want the job. She’s 64 and may not want to disrupt her life.
Is there any precedent for appointing the child of a deceased politician to fill the remaining term?
Meghan is 33 and could be appointed.
She reminds me of John and I can easily see her entering politics.
If he had resigned more than 6 months before the 2018 general election, the Governor would have appointed a replacement to hold the seat until the election, as discussed above. So there’s no way for the seat to be vacant for 6-7 months.
nm, already said
The governor has already stated that McCain’s replacement won’t be announced until after the funeral.
Perry Bacon, Jr. on fivethirtyeight.com may have it handicapped about right:
Ducey’s own chief of staff, Kirk Adams, is another choice being bandied about using this reasoning.