Cindy McCain wields quiet influence over Senate replacement

“If the family expressed interest in a particular attribute that McCain’s successor would have,” said Arizona Republican strategist Chuck Coughlin, “my instinct is that [Ducey] would honor that.”…

But Cindy McCain became a flashpoint in the gubernatorial race after Ducey’s opponent in Tuesday’s Republican primary, Ken Bennett, vowed in May not to appoint her to her husband’s seat — a pledge that was interpreted by many as a play for conservative votes by Bennett, who made his name as Arizona secretary of state by calling for independent verification of former President Barack Obama’s birth certificate before he could be listed on state ballots.

In an interview at the time, Ducey called Bennett’s pledge not to appoint her “indecent, embarrassing and revealing.” But that only caused Bennett to further dig in on the governor’s connections to the family. He used the governor’s response to tweet that his office “does not deny media reports that Ducey plans to appoint” Cindy McCain.