Judge hears legal arguments for special election to fill Senate seat held by appointee McSally

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey appointed Republican Representative Martha McSally to fill the Senate seat being vacated by Senator Jon Kyl./The Atlantic

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Daily Star

An attorney for members of various political parties told a federal judge Friday she should order a statewide election — and soon — to let voters fill the Senate seat now occupied by Martha McSally.

Gov. Doug Ducey initially appointed Jon Kyl to the vacancy created last year by the death of Sen. John McCain. When Kyl quit in January, Ducey tapped McSally, a Tucson Republican.

Attorney Michael Persoon told Judge Diane Humetewa that Ducey had no right under the U.S. Constitution to have McSally hold the seat until the 2020 general election.

He said the governor is required to give voters a chance as soon as possible to decide who should be their senator. Persoon said that means within 100 days of the vacancy. That date is long past; McCain died on Aug. 25.

But Persoon said there’s still plenty of time for Humetewa to allow voters to weigh in.

But Michael Liburdi, representing the governor, said Ducey acted in accordance with state laws.

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