Ducey shuts down rumors of Cindy McCain’s appointment to Senate

May 31, 2018, 6:43 PM | Updated: 8:46 pm

In this Wednesday, May 30, 2018, photo, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey speaks with reporters following a h...

In this Wednesday, May 30, 2018, photo, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey speaks with reporters following a hearing in Phoenix, Ariz., on opioid abuse. (AP Photo/Astrid Galvan)

(AP Photo/Astrid Galvan)

PHOENIX — The deadline for U.S. Sen. John McCain to resign from office and allow Arizonans to elect his replacement in a special election came and went, meaning Gov. Doug Ducey will be tasked with appointing his successor if the Arizona Republican leaves office before his term expires in 2022.

With the current state of the senator’s health up in the air, rumors have been floating around as to who Ducey could choose to replace McCain.

One of the most notable names? Cindy McCain, the senator’s wife.

A recent report from NewsMax cited multiple “Republicans and political pundits in the state” who said “they expect the appointment of his wife, Cindy, to succeed him in the Senate.”

Former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who is running against Ducey in the Republican race for governor, also said in a series of tweets Thursday that he promises not to appoint Cindy McCain to the Senate seat.

And another report that said Ducey had visited McCain at his northern Arizona cabin on Tuesday — the day before the deadline for McCain to step down — only added fuel to fire.

But Ducey, in a Thursday interview with KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac and Gaydos, was quick to shut those rumors down, saying “there is no vacancy.

“This is a genuine American hero who is battling for his life, fighting a deadly disease. I, for one, think he has earned Arizona’s and America’s respect,” Ducey said.

“What he’s got from me is my support and my prayers. To me, there is no vacancy. He is our senator until 2022.”

Ducey also called Bennett’s tweets “indecent, embarrassing and revealing.

“They say more about the person who said them than I ever could. We have our senior Senator who is recovering from surgery and like I said, we could be wishing him and his family well and putting them in our prayers,” he said.

And as for the timing of Ducey’s visit with McCain? The governor said it was a “complete coincidence,” adding that the pair meet every so often and had been trying to get together for weeks.

Ducey said he and McCain — joined by their wives — spent about 90 minutes together, having a “great lunch and great conversation.” Ducey also said the senator was “doing good.”

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Ducey shuts down rumors of Cindy McCain’s appointment to Senate