Replacing McCain in the Senate is political balancing act

PHOENIX (KSAZ/AP) - Sen. John McCain's death in office has handed Arizona's governor an empty Senate seat to give out - and a difficult political puzzle to solve before he does.

But before he makes his decision, the Governor plans to remember and honor the life of Senator McCain.

A spokesperson from the Governor's office issued a statement saying, "Out of respect for the life and legacy of Senator John McCain and his family, Governor Doug Ducey will not be making any announcements about an appointment until after the Senator is laid to rest. Now is a time for remembering and honoring a consequential life well live."

Arizona law requires only that Gov. Doug Ducey name a replacement who, like McCain, is a member of the Republican Party and who will fill the seat until the next general election in 2020. But in a state with a deeply divided Republican Party, where McCain was a towering but divisive figure, the choice is far more complicated.

Ducey is balancing the demands of the many conservative Arizona Republicans who have soured on McCain. They are wary of Ducey appointing a moderate. But naming someone with dramatically different views from McCain could be viewed as disrespectful to McCain's legacy.