Ghoulish Arizona Republicans Jockey for John McCain’s Senate Seat

Senator John McCain. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

John McCain’s brain cancer is not expected to allow him to live much longer, and that fact has some Arizona Republicans thinking about what’s important — positioning themselves to replace him in the Senate when his battle with glioblastoma ends.

At least three Senate hopefuls in the state are “quietly jockeying” for the appointment should he die in office, The Hill reports. They are House representative Paul Gosar, former state senator Kelli Ward, and former House representative Matt Salmon.

A staffer for Goser reportedly made the congressman’s interest known to Governor Doug Ducey, who would make the appointment to fill McCain’s vacated seat. While Ward, who is running for the seat that will be open once Senator Jeff Flake retires, called on McCain to retire and for herself to be appointed as soon as his diagnosis was made public. Salmon, The Hill says, has made his case more “tactfully” than his fellow aspirants.

It’s unclear when Ducey will have to make his decision. Earlier this month, CNN reported that McCain was “looking increasingly frail” and then he missed a vote on the GOP’s massive tax bill in order to receive medical treatment. In September, he seemed resigned to his fate in an interview with 60 Minutes. “It’s a very poor prognosis,” he said. “So I just said, ‘I understand. Now we’re going to do what we can, get the best doctors we can find and do the best we can.’ And at the same time celebrate with gratitude a life well-lived.”

But as McCain does the “best he can,” members of his own party appear eager for him to die. And that is not sitting well with Ducey, who said in a recent radio interview that anyone who’s tried to position themselves for an appointment has taken themselves out of the running.

“To the politicians out there that have been openly lobbying for this position,” he said, “they’ve basically disqualified themselves by showing their true character.”

Ghoulish AZ Republicans Jockey for John McCain’s Senate Seat