"I'm really humbled by the confidence that you've placed in me and I'm honored by this appointment. Over the last year I've traveled over this great state and have met with countless Arizonans and I've heard from them. I've done a lot of listening and I've learned a lot. I've heard about the very serious issues that Arizonans all over our state face as well as the hope they have for our future."
Colonel McSally's service to this countryis one for the history books. Twenty-six-years in the United States Air Force. She served six tours to the Middle East and Afghanistan and was selected to stand up Africa Command. She was the first woman to fly in combat and the first woman to command a fighter squadron in combat. And she has represented southern Arizona in Congress since 2015.
"I take seriously the call to service. The oath that members of Congress swear that I will swear in the future again is the same oath that I took as an Air Force officer, same exact words and it's one that I never take lightly. As I now deploy to the Senate, I pledge to devote all my energies to ensuring all Arizonans have a voice. I also look forward to working with Kyrsten Sinema in the Senate, just like we did in the House. There's a lot of common ground between us and I'm ready to hit it running. Arizona's two senators have always worked together for decades, that's our tradition and how we are most effective and that's how I plan to serve."
Arizona's governor on Tuesday appointed Rep. Martha McSally to replace Sen. Jon Kyl in the seat that belonged to Sen. John McCain, sending the GOP congresswoman back to Washington just a month after she lost a race for the state's other Senate seat.
A former air force colonel, McSally lost to Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in November after a bruising contest in which she contended Sinema committed "treason" while making anti-war remarks in 2003. Now McSally will join the Senate the same day Sinema is sworn in.
"Arizona needs someone who understands the critical issues, can get to work on day one, and who embodies the spirit of service," Ducey said at a morning press conference.
Ducey said Sinema will be sworn in first on Jan. 3 when the senate re-convenes after the winter holidays, making her the state's senior senator and first female senator.
McSally tried to put the heated campaign behind her. "I look forward to working closely with Kyrsten Sinema in the Senate, as we did in the House," she said.
McSally will serve until the 2020 election, when voters will elect someone to serve the final two years of McCain's term.
Kyl was appointed after McCain's death from brain cancer in August. He previously served in the Senate for Arizona and had said he would only commit to serving until the end of 2018. He has resigned effective Dec. 31.
McSally is a two-term congresswoman who was long considered for the Senate by the state's GOP establishment. The first female combat pilot, McSally once sued the U.S. military so she would not be required to wear a head covering while stationed in the Middle East. She rose to the rank of colonel in the Air Force before entering politics. She got a taste for it through working for Kyl's office as a national security aide.
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