Ducey said Kyl was "an expert on the matters facing Arizona", including water, land use and issues involving Native Americans.
Doug Ducey's appointment on Tuesday of former senator Jon Kyl to succeed the late senator John McCain puts a sometime critic of President Trump on track to join the Senate at a time when the Republican Party has tightened its embrace of him. "Jon Kyl" and that he is "prepared to hit the ground running".
Kyl served four two-year terms in the U.S. House of Representatives before he was first elected to a six-year stint in the Senate in 1994. Kyl's appointment will make it possible for him to vote for the nomination.
But he only committed to serve until January 2019, raising the prospect of requiring Ducey to again appoint a replacement until the seat is up for re-election in November 2020.
Kyl, 76, served alongside McCain in the Senate for almost two decades and rose to the No. 2 position of Senate Republican whip.
Kyl, 76, served with McCain in the Senate and rose to become Republican whip, the second-highest leadership post in his party's Senate leadership, before retiring in 2013.
Kyl, an experienced foreign policy hand, will be entering a narrowly divided Senate where Republicans could gain or lose seats in November.
Kyl said he chose to return to the Senate because of his sense of duty "to the state I love", adding, "I'm putting my country first just as this seat's previous occupant did every single day".
McCain, who died of brain cancer at age 81 on August 25, would have been up for re-election to his seventh term in November 2022.
The GOP is hoping Kyl will be a more reliable partisan vote than McCain, whose opposition to a partial repeal of President Obama's health care law pitched the party into turmoil previous year.
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McCain's wife Cindy McCain offered her congratulations to Kyl on Twitter.
"It's a great tribute to John that he is prepared to go back into public service to help the state of Arizona", she said.
Doug Cole, a veteran Republican consultant and former McCain aide, said Kyl was a good, safe pick.
Ducey said he hopes he will serve longer.
'I think McCain would be very happy with the pick. He said he doesn't "really have a relationship with President Trump" and only met him once, several months ago.
"Jon Kyl is a dear friend of mine and John's".
The appointment brings a more conservative bent to the Senate given Kyle's voting record and how it veers from that of McCain, a maverick who sometimes collaborated with Democrats on major legislation.
Kyl will likely also vote on bills containing tens of billions of dollars for Defense Department programs after he represented defense giant Northrop Grumman.
She's now locked in a tough campaign against Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema for the Senate seat Flake is vacating.