Can Senator McCain Force Arizona’s Governor to Appoint a Democrat to Replace Him by Switching Parties?
John McCain is going to be home with his family over the holidays while the Senate is in session debating and voting on critical bills. Arizona will be deprived of a vote in the Senate because of this severely ill senator refusing to resign from the office he is physically unfit to serve in.
John McCain has always despised a significant portion of the base of the party and has gleefully castigated them among his friends in the Senate on more than one occasion.
He has voted with the Democrats on many occasions on critical bills. He has also been friendly with the media for a long, long time. He told the American people that we had nothing to fear from an Obama presidency.
Obviously, McCain was incredibly wrong with that prediction about the Obama administration. Of course, he never had to deal with any of the hardships the Obama presidency inflicted upon the American people.
He did however voice his hatred of Donald Trump and his voters on many occasions, who were the natural evolution of a fusion of the original Ross Perot, Tea Party conservatives he and his establishment friends worked so hard to destroy.
Senator John McCain got himself into a very public war of words with the presidential candidate Donald Trump during the Republican primary. Trump retorted to an attack of McCain’s with a deadly attack of his own: attacking his war record in Vietnam that led to him being captured by the enemy, in which Trump declared that he was a war hero, not because of his service, but because he was captured.
McCain fought bitterly against Trump and his coalition, eventually losing the battle several times, once in the primaries, once at the convention, and again in the general election.
McCain finally got his “flipping the bird” moment with Trump when he voted down a repeal of the governments mandate that forces every American to buy insurance.
In order to give Trump a black eye, John McCain decided to harm every single American by voting to extend Obamacare.
As he withers away in his current condition, some believe that Senator John McCain may be able to do one last double bird salute to the Republican party: John McCain can switch his registration to the Democrat party and resign.
Arizona law requires the Republican governor to fill any vacant Senate seat with a member of the party that the vacating Senator was affiliated with. Arizona’s revised statutes 16-222:
C. For a vacancy in the office of United States senator, the governor shall appoint a person to fill the vacancy. That appointee shall be of the same political party as the person vacating the office and shall serve until the person elected at the next general election is qualified and assumes office.
This is what is being bandied about on the internet and where the rumor that John McCain might switch parties to cause President Trump to lose another Senate seat for the Republicans.
Unfortunately for the rumor, the entire subsection also includes this to prevent exactly what that plan seeks to do:
If the person vacating the office changed political party affiliations after taking office, the person who is appointed to fill the vacancy shall be of the same political party that the vacating officeholder was when the vacating officeholder was elected or appointed to that office.
No, John McCain cannot have his seat replaced by a Democrat because he was elected as a Republican.
No matter his current feelings now, Senator John McCain will have a Republican replace him should he decide to leave the Senate.