Governor Ducey Appoints Martha McSally To U.S. Senate

News Release

December 18, 2018

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointment of U.S. Representative Martha McSally (AZ-02) to the United States Senate, following the resignation of U.S. Senator Jon Kyl.

“All her life, Martha has put service first — leading in the toughest of fights and at the toughest of times,” said Governor Ducey. “She served 26 years in the military; deployed six times to the Middle East and Afghanistan; was the first woman to fly in combat and command a fighter squadron in combat; and she’s represented Southern Arizona in Congress for the past four years. With her experience and long record of service, Martha is uniquely qualified to step up and fight for Arizona’s interests in the U.S. Senate. I thank her for taking on this significant responsibility and look forward to working with her and Senator-Elect Sinema to get positive things done.”

“Over the last year, I’ve traveled across this great state, meeting with countless Arizonans, and listening to them,” said Representative McSally. “I’ve heard about the challenges they face and the hopes they have for the future – and I’ve learned a lot. I am humbled and grateful to have this opportunity to serve and be a voice for all Arizonans. I look forward to working with Senator-Elect Kyrsten Sinema and getting to work from day one.”

"Because she currently represents Arizona in the US Congress, Martha McSally certainly has the knowledge and experience to represent our State in the Senate," said Senator Jon Kyl. "Moreover, she is highly energetic, smart and committed to finding practical solutions to problems facing our State and Nation. She is an excellent choice."

Governor Ducey appointed Senator Kyl to the Senate in September of 2018, filling the seat vacated by the late Senator John McCain. Senator Kyl’s resignation from the Senate will be effective December 31, 2018.

Background
Representative Martha McSally represents Arizona’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she serves on the Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees and chairs the Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee.

A graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, Martha served in our nation’s military for 26 years, retiring as a full Colonel in 2010. During her military career, she deployed to the Middle East and Afghanistan six times and was the first woman in U.S. history to fly a fighter jet in combat and the first woman to command a fighter squadron.

In 2001, Martha sued the Department of Defense over a discriminatory policy that forced female service members to wear Muslim garb overseas. She successfully fought to overturn the policy, ultimately shepherding legislation that passed both chambers of Congress and was signed into law.

Over her two terms in the House, Martha has been repeatedly ranked one of the most effective members of Congress. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.

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Governor Ducey's Remarks

Governor Ducey gave the following remarks on the appointment of U.S. Representative Martha McSally to the U.S. Senate on December 18, 2018: 

Good morning -

I want to start off today by offering my sincere thanks to Senator Jon Kyl.

When we stood here just a few months ago, it was at a very challenging time both for Arizona and our country. Congress had a full workload to get through. And Arizona was just coming off of a very difficult week following the death of Senator John McCain.

Arizona needed someone who could hit the ground running and represent our state with experience and confidence - and that’s exactly what Jon Kyl did.

Over the last few months, Senator Kyl has served with the same integrity and statesmanship that marked his 26 years in Congress.

He didn’t have to return to the Senate. But he did, and I remain deeply grateful to him and Caryll for answering the call to serve once again when Arizona needed him most.

And there’s a reason he isn’t here today: He didn’t want to miss a vote. And that’s illustrative of how seriously he takes the job of United States Senator.

When I appointed Senator Kyl, he committed to serving through the end of this year. It was my hope he’d serve longer, but I knew he might decide otherwise.

And as you all know, last week he informed me he will be stepping down on December 31st.

I gave careful consideration when deciding who should represent our state moving forward. The need for effective leadership is just as great today as it was then.

But once again, the question was the same: Who is the best person available to serve the state of Arizona?

Arizona needs someone who understands the critical issues; who can get to work from day one; and who embodies a spirit of service -- of putting the people we represent before all else.

Martha McSally possesses these qualities.

Colonel McSally’s service to this country is one for the history books.  26 years in the U.S. 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, becoming one of the most effective members in all of Congress.

All her life, Martha has put service first - leading in the toughest of fights and at the toughest of times.

One of the first women ever selected for fighter pilot training.

Over 325 combat hours flown in the A-10 Warthog.

Commander of her fighter squadron, known as the “Bulldogs.”

And an unrelenting drive to make positive change -- even when it means challenging authority.

Like when she took on the Pentagon to overturn a discriminatory policy that forced women servicemembers to wear Muslim garb - all before she even got to Congress.

Martha McSally is uniquely qualified to fight for Arizona’s interests in the U.S. Senate.

On issues affecting Arizona’s military bases and veterans, she brings a personal expertise as one who’s worn the uniform.

And on the important issues that affect everyday families, she’s shown a talent for bringing people together and finding common ground.

I’m proud to call her a friend. And I know that together, with Senator-elect Sinema, she will advocate for our state and work across the aisle to get positive things done.

Thank you, Martha, for stepping up.


Representative McSally's Remarks

Representative Martha McSally gave the following remarks following Governor Ducey's announcement of her appointment to the U.S. Senate on December 18, 2018:

Thank you, Governor Ducey.

I’m humbled by the confidence you’ve placed in me and honored by this appointment.

Over the last year, I’ve traveled across this great state, meeting with countless Arizonans, and hearing 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. Hope for a brighter tomorrow...Hope that the American dream is every bit as vibrant for their kids and grandkids.

When I ran for Senate, it was with a full understanding of the monumental responsibility that comes with that office - as one of only 100 senators in the nation, and one of only two from Arizona.

It is with the same appreciation for this office that I humbly stand before you today.

I take seriously the call to service. The oath members of Congress swear is the same oath I took as an Air Force officer  - and it’s one 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, 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.

This is the model that Senator Kyl served with that I witnessed first-hand as his Legislative Fellow 19 years ago.

And I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve in the seat of someone who served our state for decades, someone whom I have immense respect for John McCain.

John McCain was a giant in the Senate. An Arizona icon. An American hero.

I’m going to commit to holding myself to the standard of service that John McCain exemplified -- putting country before self, and always striving to do the right thing for Arizonans.

Our country faces a lot of challenges. But none as big as the opportunity we have to move America forward and secure a brighter, more secure future for all.

I’m again humbled by this opportunity to continue to serve. And I’m ready to get to work.

Thank you.