McSally Senate appointment makes Grant Woods’ 2020 run more likely
PHOENIX — Democrat Grant Woods said Republican Martha McSally’s appointment to the U.S. Senate makes a 2020 challenge from him more likely.
“I think it makes it more likely because, as you can tell, I’m not a big fan of (McSally’s) and how she conducted this last election,” he told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes on Wednesday.
Woods has been mulling a potential Senate run since his friend, the late Sen. John McCain, died in August following a yearlong battle with brain cancer.
But the former Republican, who has been critical of McSally and endorsed her Senate opponent Kyrsten Sinema during the campaign, said the appointment catapulted that decision forward.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced Tuesday that McSally would succeed outgoing U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, who was expected to resign on Dec. 31. Kyl was appointed in September.
Woods said McSally was a “terrible choice” for the appointment and that Ducey should have picked Cindy McCain instead. Arizona law required Ducey to pick a Republican to serve in the seat.
“It would’ve been the right thing to do,” Woods said, even though he said he was not sure whether the widowed McCain would have wanted it.
McSally narrowly lost a race for outgoing U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake’s seat in November. She had spent her campaign aligning with President Donald Trump and followed his lead by failing to mention McCain’s name during the signing of his last defense bill.
Despite Woods’ objections, he said he believes Arizonans should give McSally a chance.
“I hope she learned her lesson,” Woods said. “If she decides she is going to be true to herself and puts country first, Arizona first, and not just ambition, then great.”
The special election in 2020 will be held to fill the remainder of McCain’s seat through 2022. Then the seat will be up again for a full six-year term.