Arizona GOP not ready to talk about what comes after McCain

PHOENIX — Sen. John McCain’s legacy was thrust into focus nearly one year ago when he announced his brain cancer diagnosis. The six-term Senator and decorated Vietnam War veteran is now fighting the illness from his beloved Arizona, and filling the role of one of the few Congressional Republican voices to publicly rebuke Trump administration decisions.

Yet the question of what happens if McCain steps down from office before 2022 is a lingering one, casting an uncomfortable haze around the future of a seat that can’t quite ever be filled.

“John McCain is a one-of-a-kind politician, and there’s no replacing him,” said Stan Barnes, an Arizona Republican consultant. “No one serving in political office today remembers a time when John McCain was not representing us in Washington.”

Some Arizona Republicans have criticized conversations about the future of McCain’s seat as inappropriate. But reflections around the 81-year-old statesman’s life, legacy and status as a national political figure have resurfaced via a new HBO documentary, “John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls,” and his new memoir, “The Restless Wave.”

The McCains have a family retreat south of Sedona, Arizona, along tree-lined Oak Creek. Daughter Meghan McCain was married there.

She said on KTAR’s Mac and Gaydos radio show Tuesday that she’s been trying to visit her father every other weekend. She said he’s strong, walking, talking and hanging in there.

“Everybody’s just dealing with it the best they can,” Meghan McCain said.

Following a decorated military career that included spending more than five years in prison camps, McCain entered the political arena in the early 1980s. He went from the House of Representatives to being elected to the Senate in 1986, following Barry Goldwater who retired. McCain gained a reputation as a lawmaker who was willing to stick to his convictions rather than go along with party leaders. It is a streak that draws a mix of respect and ire.

Matt Salmon, a former Arizona congressman, said McCain was instrumental in his own political career —along with countless other Arizona Republicans. Much like Goldwater, McCain’s been “the godfather of Arizona politics” for decades.

Salmon said McCain exemplifies how to stand up for one’s convictions and constituents regardless of the wants of party leadership. During the late 1990s, Salmon drove a successful effort to remove Newt Gingrich as Speaker.

“I don’t know that I would’ve had the courage to go do something like that without a maverick like John McCain paving the way,” he said.

When Salmon was elected to Congress, McCain, as a mentor, was supportive, loyal and quick to share his dry sense of humor.

“He said to me, ‘Congratulations Matt, now you’re part of the problem,’” Salmon said.

McCain’s maverick ways have pressed on in the era of President Donald Trump. He continues to release statements and tweets from Arizona. Following Trump’s decision to not endorse a G7 statement with other global trade leaders, McCain tweeted a message to U.S. allies that said in part “Americans stand with you, even if our president doesn’t.”

Sen. Jeff Flake, Arizona’s junior senator who is not running for re-election, said McCain’s mantra of “country before party” sets him apart from other senators. Flake praised his honesty and transparency, as witnessed in the recent documentary.

“He was open about his mistakes, and his failings, and that’s part of what’s so endearing about him,” he said.

Flake said during a recent visit with McCain at his home, the two sat on the deck for about an hour and talked about what they miss about Arizona politics, the kind that put party and partisanship aside. Flake said he’s concerned that Arizona voters may miss out on having an independent voice that they’ve grown accustomed to when McCain is no longer in office.

“Today’s politics kind of reward those who stick with the crowd,” Flake said. “The incentives are not here to be independent and it takes a strong personality, like John, kind of an outsized personality, to pull that off.”

Former Arizona congressman John Shadegg said most lawmakers don’t work as hard as McCain. He cited town hall meetings in Arizona that McCain held in non-campaign years. One time at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport, Shadegg was speaking with McCain but had to cut the conversation short when “about a hundred people” came over to talk to the senator.

“There’s a personal side to John McCain, which is very different than the public John McCain, and one that you can’t help but like and respect,” Shadegg said.

Some of the state’s Republican voters have been critical of McCain for not being conservative enough. In 2016, primary challenger Kelli Ward came within 11 percentage points in a four-way race after running as a more conservative alternative. A few years before that, a censure effort from the state party called out McCain for campaigning as a conservative but voting more moderate.

On the flip side, McCain’s service and his ability to stick to his convictions have earned him respect from Democrats. McCain’s vote against a repeal of the Affordable Care Act shortly after he announced his diagnosis further endeared him to those who might disagree with him on other policies, Democratic consultant DJ Quinlan said.

“He did have his high profile moments where he was really willing to stick it to his party,” Quinlan said.

In the event McCain steps down from his Senate seat before 2022, state law requires the governor to fill a vacancy with an appointee of the same political party who will serve until the next general election. Republican Gov. Doug Ducey hasn’t been keen on speculating. He and his wife Angela visited John and Cindy McCain about two weeks ago.

“To anyone who uses this as an opportunity to speculate or fan the rumor mill: Washington DC’s obsession with this when there is no issue to be discussed is disgraceful,” Ducey spokesman Daniel Scarpinato said in a statement.

Yet rumors abound, with names being suggested as possibilities to fill the seat as an appointee, such as Cindy McCain, former Sen. Jon Kyl and former state attorney general Grant Woods.

Republican consultant Barnes called replacement rumors “desperate barbershop gossip,” though he said he understands the uncertainty some might have about the exit of such a dominant figure from the political stage.

“That particular Senate seat has been an outsized, powerful voice on the floor of the United States Senate, and you just can’t overstate the importance of that phenomenon,” Barnes said.

Some had wondered whether McCain’s seat would be up this year if he left office before May 30, the deadline for candidates to file signatures to get on the ballot. That opportunity is likely closed — meaning the next general election where a candidate could run for the seat would be 2020 instead of 2018. Secretary of State Michele Reagan’s office has said her office won’t speculate on responses to possible vacancies, and will make any decisions once a vacancy becomes available.

Salmon said he doesn’t think anyone can fill McCain’s shoes. He recalled a trip to Vietnam where he saw a monument to McCain.

“His voice is not just an Arizona voice,” he said. “It’s a world voice.”

He said many are wishing McCain well and hoping for the best.

“He’s one of the toughest guys I’ve gotten to know,” Salmon said. “It’s not a disease that most people diagnosed with are successful at fighting. But they’re not John McCain. He’s a fighter.”

ad-high_impact_4
News
Police investigating shooting at east valley apartment complex
No one was injured late Monday night after someone fired shots at a vehicle at an east valley apartment complex. Police responded just before midnight to the Hamptons Apartments, 3070 S. Nellis Blvd. Someone fired shots at a vehicle that was leaving the complex, and struck the vehicle. Another bullet struck a nearby apartment building. The shooter or shooters remain at-large.
Hundreds Attend Slides, Rides and Rock and Roll in North Las Vegas
Hundreds attended the inaugural slides, rides and rock and roll event in North Las Vegas Saturday. The event featured a car show, water slide park and live music. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
It's All Rainbows At The Center's New Cafe
The Gay and Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada (The Center) introduced its new coffeeshop, Little Rainbow Cafe, in June. Rainbows are everywhere, even in the lattes and toast, and employees wear t-shirts with the quote "Be a rainbow in someone's cloud." Owner Ben Sabouri said the concept is "built around the idea of, you know, be kind and treat everybody the same." (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Get a Rainbow Latte at the The Center's Little Rainbow Cafe
The Center, a community center for the LGBTQ community of Southern Nevada, has a new cafe. Little Rainbow Cafe serves up a pride-inspired signature "Rainbow Latte." (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pedestrian killed trying to cross Sahara
A pedestrian was killed Friday trying to cross Sahara Avenue near Maryland Parkway about 5 a.m. A sedan struck the pedestrian while the person was outside the crosswalk between Maryland Parkway and Pardee Place, according to Las Vegas police. Police also said the driver of the sedan remained at the site of the crash. The pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene. This is the 75th fatal crash that Las Vegas police have investigated in 2018.
Man shot multiple times
Las Vegas police are investigating after a man was shot multiple times early Friday morning. The shooting was called in about 3:20 a.m. at the Harbor Island Apartments, 370 E. Harmon Ave., near Koval Lane. The man was hospitalized and is expected to survive, but police are still searching for the shooter.
Former Military Police Corps Officer Celebrates 100th Birthday
Summerlin resident Gene Stephens, who served as a military policeman in WWII and escorted then-Gen. Dwight Eisenhower and President Roosevelt during the war, turned 100 on July 13, 2018. He credits his longevity to living a normal life, exercising regularly and eating three square meals a day. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Motorcyclist suffers serious injuries
A motorcycle rider was seriously injured Tuesday night after a crash on Charleston Boulevard. The crash was reported just before 10 p.m. near Durango Drive, according to Las Vegas police. The motorcyclist was hospitalized with unknown injuries but is expected to survive. Las Vegas police are investigating the cause of the accident.
CCSD Superintendent Jesus Jara Has Lunch With Students
New Clark County School District superintendent Jesus Jara continued his listening tour by having lunch with students at Red Rock Elementary School as part of the district's summer lunch program. In conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, children under the age of 18 can find a free lunch at 104 different locations across the valley through the summer months. Jara highlighted the free program and the importance of eating healthy during his visit. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Timeline Leading Up to Scott Dozier's Execution
Scott Dozier is set to be executed by lethal injection the night of July 11 at Ely State Prison. Dozier was convicted of the April 2002 killing of 22-year-old Jeremiah Miller and was given the death penalty in Oct. 2007. In 2016 Dozier asked in a letter to District Judge Jennifer Togliatti requesting that he “be put to death.” A three-drug cocktail of midazolam, a sedative; the painkiller fentanyl; and cisatracurium, a paralytic, is expected to end his life. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Program Helps Mothers Battling Addiction
Jennifer Stanert has battled drug addiction on and off for the last 21 years. It caused her to lose custody of one of her children, Alec, after she gave birth while high. A new program at Dignity Health St. Rose Dominican Hospitals aims to connect mothers like Stanert with community resources and provide case management services while still pregnant to get connected to lactation and parenting classes, group peer support and education on neonatal abstinence syndrome. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Felon caught with guns in Mandalay Bay room 3 years before Las Vegas shooting
A felon was caught with guns in a Mandalay Bay hotel room three years before the October 1st mass shooting. Six weapons were found inside Kye Aaron Dunbar’s 24th floor room in November 2014. Four were semi-automatic. One was a scoped rifle pointing toward the Strip, according to court documents. Dunbar was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison for unlawful possession. The case just came to light in a lawsuit accusing Mandalay Bay of negligence in connection with the Oct. 1st shooting.
Illegal fireworks in the Las Vegas area garner complaints
Clark County received nearly 25,000 complaints over the Independence Day holiday on a new illegal fireworks site. Reports from the site led to at least 10 illegal fireworks busts across the valley overnight. As of Thursday morning, the county is still compiling the total number of citations issued.
House fire displaces 2 people
Two people were displaced after a house fire early Thursday morning. The fire, at 963 Temple Drive in east Las Vegas, was reported just after midnight, according to a battalion chief from the Clark County Fire Department. Crews from the North Las Vegas and Las Vegas fire departments also were called in to help. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
"Red White and Boom" July 4 Fireworks at the Stratosphere
Full video of the Fourth of July "Red White and Boom" fireworks show at the Stratosphere as seen from the 8th floor Elation Pool. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
July 4th fireworks at the Eureka Casino Resort in Mesquite
July 4th fireworks at the Eureka Casino Resort in Mesquite. (7-04-18) (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Crowds Enjoy Fireworks at the Stratosphere
Revelers enjoyed watching fireworks displays from the Stratosphere's 8th floor Elation pool on July 4. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pedestrian killed in Henderson
A pedestrian trying to cross St. Rose Parkway at Bermuda was hit by a vehicle on Tuesday night and later died. The crash was reported around 11:30 p.m. Las Vegas police responded initially, but handed over the investigation to Henderson police once it was determined the accident happened in their jurisdiction. Las Vegas police did respond to a report of a pedestrian being hit by a vehicle on the Strip. The person, who was hit by a BMW near Fashion Show mall, suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries.
USPS owes $3.5 million for using Vegas Statue of Liberty on stamp
The United States Postal Service has been ordered to pay $3.5 million to a sculptor after using the Las Vegas replica of the Statue of Liberty in a stamp. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Officer Brent Horlacher shoots at Jessie Murillo
Las Vegas police video of an officer-involved shooting on June 29, 2018. Officer Brent Horlacher, 28, fired a single shot at suspect Jessie Murillo. Murillo was not injured. The radio audio is of the officer who fired the gun and the body camera video is from a different officer. Radio audio excerpts are added to the video and are not the precise times the audio was spoken.
Pawn Stars' Richard Harrison honored at memorial service
A memorial service was conducted for Richard "Old Man" Harrison at Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
UNLV professor cautions dangers of distracted walking
An alarming number of adults do not cross the street safely according to a study conducted by professor Tim Bungum of the School of Community Health Sciences at the UNLV. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas-Review Journal) @brokejournalist
Car left in remote desert 21 years is recovered for late owner's children
Showboat casino blackjack dealer Mark Blackburn died outside of White Hills, Ariz. 21 years ago. His 1980 Datsun B310 wagon remained in the remote desert until a network of volunteers recovered the car for his children. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Resort on Mount Charleston Sold for $4.8 million
North Carolina couple and hoteliers Deanna and Colin Crossman have purchased the Resort on Mount Charleston for $4.8 million. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Traffic stop turns into officer-involved shooting
Las Vegas police are investigating after an officer fired a shot at a suspect fleeing a traffic stop early Friday morning. The officer tried to pull over a black Dodge Durango with license plates that belonged to a different vehicle. The driver took off northbound on Lamb Boulevard and at one point crossed into the southbound lanes. A man got out of the car and fled on foot. During the chase, the officer saw something in the man’s hand and fired a single shot, police said. The man wasn’t injured and was later taken into custody. Police could not confirm if the man had a weapon when he was arrested. This is the 9th officer involved shooting of 2018. Per police policy, the identity of the officer will be released after 48 hours. 01:05
5 Dead in Shooting at Capital Gazette Newspaper in Maryland
5 Dead in Shooting at Capital Gazette Newspaper in Maryland Five people have been killed and two have been injured in a "targeted attack" at the newspaper, which is owned by the Baltimore Sun. Anne Arundel County deputy police chief Bill Krampf said the suspected gunman entered the building with a shotgun and walked through the lower level of the building, where the newspaper is housed. According to Krampf, the suspect "possibly" had a connection to the paper through social media. The suspect was identified as Jarrod Warren Ramos. Ramos filed a defamation claim in 2012 against the paper but the case was dismissed. He is currently in custody. President Trump was briefed on the events.
Clark County Fire inspects fireworks booths
Clark County Fire Prevention Inspector Amanda Wildermuth talks about inspecting fireworks booths to keep everyone safe on Fourth of July. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Robbery suspects apprehended
Four robbery suspects were taken into custody Thursday morning after a vehicle and foot chase that ended in an east Las Vegas neighborhood. The incident began when a person was robbed at gunpoint around 4:45 a.m. near Maryland Parkway and Desert Inn. Officers arriving at the scene tried to stop two vehicles. One vehicle escaped but police chased the second into a neighborhood on Flamingo Road near Mountain Vista Street. Police surrounded the neighborhood and the suspects were apprehended. It looked like one police vehicle was involved in a collision with the suspects' car. One woman suffered an unknown injury and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. 01:04
Las Vegas Monsoon and Flood Season Are Approaching
The Clark County Flood Control District held a press conference to remind the public that monsoon season begins in July and runs through September. The exceptionally rainy season brings with it dangerous flooding events that can put the public in danger. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like