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

McCain's former chief of staff considering Senate bid as Democrat
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John McCainJohn Sidney McCainChoking — not cheating — was Trump's undoing Gabby Giffords congratulates Mark Kelly with throwback photo of her own swearing-in McConnell in tough position as House eyes earmark return 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 SchumerPelosi, Schumer endorse 8 billion plan as basis for stimulus talks Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms Trump supporters could hand Senate control to Democrats MORE (N.Y.). He also said he's spoken to North Dakota Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampGrassley suggests moderate Democrats for next Agriculture secretary Major unions back Fudge for Agriculture secretary Five House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet MORE (D) and New Mexico Sen. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallHaaland has competition to be first Native American to lead Interior  Former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun stumps for Interior post: 'A natural fit for me' Five House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet MORE (D).

Woods, who supported Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClinton offers congratulations over Elliot Page announcement Biden brushes off criticism of budget nominee Mellman: Mired in Partisanship 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 McSallyGabby Giffords congratulates Mark Kelly with throwback photo of her own swearing-in Mark Kelly sworn in to Senate seat Sen.-elect Mark Kelly visits John McCain's grave ahead of swearing-in 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 FlakeBiden eyeing Cindy McCain for UK ambassador position: report Profiles in cowardice: Trump's Senate enablers McSally concedes Arizona Senate race MORE (R).