McCain's former chief of staff considering Senate bid as Democrat

John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe Hill’s Campaign Report: Bad polling data is piling up for Trump Cindy McCain ‘disappointed’ McGrath used image of John McCain in ad attacking McConnell Report that Bush won’t support Trump reelection ‘completely made up,’ spokesman says MORE’s former chief of staff, Grant Woods, is considering running as a Democrat for the Senate, he told The Washington Post on Wednesday. 

McCain’s recent death prompted Woods to consider running, he told the Post. McCain died late last month after a yearlong battle with brain cancer. Woods, a former Arizona attorney general, was among those who delivered a eulogy at McCain’s funeral last week.

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“It’s challenging for me be so involved in everything that we did to honor him over the last week and then think of staying on the sidelines as we face a world without John McCain,” Woods said.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that Democrats have started talking to Woods about running to fill McCain’s seat, which will be be up for grabs in a special election in 2020 and again in 2022 for a full six-year term.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday picked fellow Republican and former Sen. Jon Kyl to succeed McCain in the Senate. 

Kyl, who left the Senate in 2013, said he will serve at least until the end of this Congress in January, but has not committed to serving in 2019 and 2020. He told reporters Tuesday that he has no interest in running for the seat come 2020.

Woods was McCain’s chief of staff when McCain served in the House in the 1980s.

Woods told the Post that he has spoken to several Democratic senators about potentially running for the seat, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerOvernight Health Care: US showing signs of retreat in battle against COVID-19 | Regeneron begins clinical trials of potential coronavirus antibody treatment | CMS warns nursing homes against seizing residents’ stimulus checks Schumer requests briefing with White House coronavirus task force as cases rise Schumer on Trump’s tweet about 75-year-old protester: He ‘should go back to hiding in the bunker’ MORE (N.Y.). He also said he’s spoken to North Dakota Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn Heitkamp70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents Susan Collins set to play pivotal role in impeachment drama Pro-trade group launches media buy as Trump and Democrats near deal on new NAFTA MORE (D) and New Mexico Sen. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallPark Police asked to defend rationale behind clearing protesters The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden on the cusp of formally grasping the Democratic nomination Democrat Teresa Leger Fernandez defeats Valerie Plame in New Mexico primary MORE (D).

Woods, who supported Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE in the 2016 presidential election, told the Post he won’t consider running as a Republican as long as Trump is in charge.

“I’m not going to hold my breath on Trump because I’m not going to pass out,” Woods said.

Rep. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyGOP senators introduce resolution opposing calls to defund the police No evidence of unauthorized data transfers by top Chinese drone manufacturer: study Senate Democratic campaign arm launches online hub ahead of November MORE (R-Ariz.) is facing off against fellow congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) in the November race for Arizona’s second Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeGOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism Kelly holds double-digit lead over McSally in Arizona: poll Trump asserts his power over Republicans MORE (R).

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