As flags fly at half-staff at the Arizona Capitol in memory of the late Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, television crews broadcast live Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018, in Phoenix. McCain, the war hero who became the GOP's standard-bearer in the 2008 election, has died at the age of 81, Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018, after battling brain cancer. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Replacing McCain in the Senate is political balancing act

August 26, 2018 - 2:27 pm

PHOENIX (AP) — Sen. John McCain's death in office has handed Arizona's governor an empty Senate seat to give out — and a difficult political puzzle to solve before he does.

Arizona law requires only that Gov. Doug Ducey name a replacement who, like McCain, is a member of the Republican Party and who will fill the seat until the next general election in 2020. But in a state with a deeply divided Republican Party, where McCain was a towering but divisive figure, the choice is far more complicated.

Ducey is balancing the demands of the many conservative Arizona Republicans who have soured on McCain. They are wary of Ducey appointing a moderate. But naming someone with dramatically different views from McCain could be viewed as disrespectful to McCain's legacy.