Martha McSally is well positioned to mount a U.S. Senate campaign in 2020 if the seat that voters awarded to the late John McCain in 2016 becomes vacant in the coming weeks, as most political observers expect.
According to a report by the Arizona’s Politics blog, McSally’s campaign disclosed having more than $1 million in the bank after losing last month to Kyrsten Sinema. “Outgoing Rep. Martha McSally is locked, loaded and ready for another run at a U.S. Senate seat from Arizona. Or, at a minimum, she is loaded,” the blog reported.
Why is this important?
When McCain died in August, Gov. Doug Ducey appointed former U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl to take McCain’s place. The move was a surprise, as Kyl had retired from the Senate in 2012 and was enjoying a lucrative post-Senate career as a D.C. lobbyist.
Kyl quickly made clear two things. First, he had no intention of filling out the entire term, so he wouldn’t stand for the special election in 2020 that is required by state law. Second, he said he had only committed to Ducey that he would serve through the end of 2018.
Kyl hasn’t officially said he will resign in January, but there is little expectation that he intends to stay in the Senate beyond this month.
Since the days immediately following her concession to Sinema after a prolonged ballot count, national Republicans have been pressuring Ducey to appoint McSally to replace Kyl, when (or if) he vacates the seat. McSally is appealing to national Republicans because she is a veteran campaigner, she’s already known to the statewide electorate and she’s an exceptional fund-raiser.
As Arizona’s Politics noted, by having $1 million on hand heading into the 2020 cycle, McSally has “a significant head start” over any potential competitors – and it bolsters the argument that national Republicans will be making to Ducey.