On Tuesday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced the appointment of former Sen. Recently, Kyl was named the Trump administration's "sherpa" to ensure Brett Kavanaugh's nomination sails through the confirmation process.
McCain, who died of brain cancer at age 81 on August 25, would have been up for re-election to his seventh term in November 2022. The seat will come up again for a six-year term in 2022.
Kyl, 76, the former Senate minority whip, served in the upper chamber from 1995 to 2013 and has been lobbying for a D.C. law firm since leaving Congress.
Even more extraordinary? Only 11 men have been an Arizona senator since the state entered the union in 1912. In a similar conundrum, Ducey could have potentially strengthened his prospects for reelection this fall by choosing a relative "moderate" to take McCain's place - or fortified his résumé for a future presidential run by doing right by the GOP's activist base.
Kyl's appointment would give Republicans their full contingent of 51 senators.
The GOP is hoping he'll be a more reliable partisan vote than McCain, whose opposition to a partial repeal of President Obama's health care law pitched the party into turmoil past year.
Woods, who spoke during the memorial service for McCain in Phoenix last week, said his longtime friend's death led him to consider "whether I need to step up at this point in time".
From a political standpoint, Kyl seemed the "more Republican" of the two Arizona Senators back when he and McCain were serving. Kyl retired from Congress in January 2013 as the second-highest ranking Republican senator.
Many names had emerged as possibilities to fill John MCCain's seat, including Cindy McCain, former Reps. "It's a great tribute to John that he is prepared to go back into public service to help the state of Arizona", she wrote on Twitter.
While shepherding Supreme Court picks, Kyl has not indicated he's a Trump loyalist, saying in a February interview that the president is a "phenomenon that has to be dealt with". "It's challenging for me be so involved in everything that we did to honor him over the last week and then think of staying on the sidelines as we face a world without John McCain".
The Republican Ducey says he hopes that Kyl will serve longer.
"John McCain was an American hero and we were very blessed to have him as a senator", Ducey said at a press conference.
"It's my hope that he serves longer". "Kyl has been working closely with the White House on the Senate confirmation of President Donald Trump's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh", Ducey said.
Should McSally lose, she could also be considered for a Senate appointment.
Governor Ducey said he would like to keep Kyl in the Senate until McCain's seat is up for relection in 2020.