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Ducey remains confident that John McCain will return to good health

Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey greets the media after touring the Arizona School for the Arts Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

LISTEN: Governor Doug Ducey

PHOENIX – Despite U.S. Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) health battle, Gov. Doug Ducey remains confident that the senator will be back to Washington in full health.

“This guy is a battler, he is without a doubt the toughest man in the United States Senate,” Ducey said Tuesday in an interview with KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos. “I have every confidence that he will be back.”

Ducey explained that he had spoken to McCain’s wife, Cindy, over the weekend, saying McCain was back on his feet and “bossing everyone around.” The news is a sign of hope for the senator after a second tumor was found in his brain.

McCain was first diagnosed with glioblastoma — a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer — in July after a 2-inch blood clot had been removed from his brain.

The second tumor was discovered after he had gone through at least one round of chemotherapy treatment, however it is unclear whether the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale or the National Institutes of Health had found the tumor.

Over the weekend, McCain returned home from Washington after he was hospitalized with a viral infection, forcing him to miss the vote on the new GOP tax bill.

With the growing concerns for McCain’s health, speculation has risen about the process to fill his seat should it become vacant. However, Ducey shot down any notion on how he would go about finding the replacement.

“This is a guy that’s a war hero, he has been a nominee for president of the United States,” Ducey added.

“I have found it a little bit off color some of the prognosticators and pundits who have been making these predictions for the senator’s outcome. I think people should be praying for him and rooting for him.”

If McCain were to resign early and give up his seat, a specific process to handle such situations is already in place.

Stan Barnes, a Valley political expert said Thursday that Ducey would have to appoint “a Republican — because John McCain is a Republican — and that person would serve until the very next election.”

However, Barnes explained that if McCain elected to resign sooner than later, the 2018 race would then determine who finishes his term.

With the possibility of such events happening, many politicians have been openly lobbying themselves to fill McCain’s seat. However, those who have done so are doing more harm than good for their own cause, according to Ducey.

“They basically disqualified themselves for showing their true character,” he said. “I fully expect to see the senator back in January and I am looking forward to it.”

KTAR News 92.3

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