Arizona GOP blocked from changing rules on filling McCain's seat

Arizona state Democrats on Monday blocked a measure that would have changed how the state fills vacant Senate seats amid Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe Hill's 12:30 Report Senate gets to work in August — but many don’t show up Rand Paul’s Russia visit displays advancement of peace through diplomacy MORE’s (R-Ariz.) ongoing treatment for brain cancer, according to The Associated Press.

GOP state lawmakers had introduced the measure, which would have allowed individuals appointed to open Senate seats to hold them for two full years, if the seat became vacant within 150 days of a regularly scheduled primary election.

That would have meant that anyone appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey (R) after March 31, which has already passed, would remain in the seat until the 2020 elections.

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Republicans had eyed attaching the emergency clause to another piece of legislation, but Democrats collectively voted against the proposal.

Democrats argued that the GOP lawmakers had introduce the proposal to minimize the risk of losing McCain’s seat if it went up for grabs in the midterm elections later this year.

But Republicans told The Hill that the measure was meant to clarify the language in existing election law and that state election officials requested such a proposal.

Current Arizona law states that McCain’s seat would be on the next general election ballot if he left the post by May 30.

McCain announced brain cancer diagnosis last year. He has been recovering in Arizona since December.