Governor Doug Ducey:
Good morning. I want to begin by offering my sincere thanks to Senator Jon Kyl.
When we stood here just a few months ago, it was at a very challenging time for both for Arizona and our country. Congress had a full workload to get through and Arizona was just coming off a very difficult week following the death of Senator John McCain.
Arizona needed someone who could hit the ground running and represent our state with experience and confidence. And that’s exactly what Jon Kyl did.
Over the last few months, Senator Kyl has served with the same integrity and statesmanship that marked his 26 years in Congress.
He didn’t have to return to the United States Senate. But he did. And I remain deeply grateful to him and Carol for answering the call to serve once again when Arizona needed them most.
And there’s a reason he isn’t here today; he didn’t want to miss a vote. And that’s illustrative of how seriously Jon Kyl takes the job of United States Senator.
When I appointed Senator Kyl, he committed to serving through the end of this year. It was my hope he’d serve longer but I knew he might decide otherwise.
As you all know, last week he informed me he’ll be stepping down on December 31. I gave careful consideration when deciding who should represent our state moving forward.
The need for effective leadership is just as great today as it was then. And once again the question is the same: who is the best person available to represent the state of Arizona.
Arizona needs someone who understands the critical issues, who can get to work on day one and who embodies a spirit of service, of putting the people we represent above all else.
Martha McSally possesses these qualities.
Colonel McSally’s service to this country is one for the history books.
Twenty-six years in the United States airforce. She served six tours to the Middle East and Afghanistan and was selected to stand up Africa command. She was the first woman to fly in combat and the first woman to command a fighter squadron in combat. And she has represented southern Arizona in Congress since 2015 becoming one of the most effective members of all of Congress.
All her life, Martha has put service first. Leading in the toughest of fights and at the toughest of times.
One of the first women ever selected for fighter pilot training. Over 325 combat hours flown in the A-10 warthog. Commander of her fighter squadron, known as the Bulldogs.
And an unrelenting drive to make positive change even when it means challenging authority. Like when she took on the Pentagon to overturn a discriminatory policy that forced women servicemembers to wear Muslim garb all before she even entered Congress.
Martha McSally is uniquely qualified to fight for Arizona’s interests in the United States Senate.
On issues affecting Arizona’s military bases and veterans, she brings a personal expertise as one who’s worn the uniform.
And on the important issues that affect everyday families, she’s shown a talent for bringing people together and finding common ground.
I’m proud to call Martha McSally a friend. And I know that together with Senator-elect Sinema, she will advocate for our state and work across the aisle to get positive things done.
Thank you, Martha, for stepping up.
Representative Martha McSally:
Well thank you, Governor Ducey. I’m really humbled by the confidence you’ve placed in me and I’m honored by this appointment
Over the last year, I’ve traveled over this great state and have met with countless Arizonans and I’ve heard from them.
I’ve done a lot of listening and I’ve learned a lot.
I’ve heard about the very serious issues that Arizonans all over our state face.
As well as the hope they have for our future. Hope for a brighter tomorrow. Hope that the American dream is every bit as good for their kids and their grandkids.
When I ran for the Senate, it was with a full understanding of the monumental responsibility that comes with that office. As one of only 100 Senators in the country and only two from Arizona.
And it’s with that same appreciation for this office that I humbly stand before you today.
I take seriously the call to service.
The oath that members of Congress swear, that I will swear in the future, again, is the same oath that I took as an airforce officer, same exact words. And it’s one that I never take lightly.
As I now deploy to the Senate, I pledge to devote all my energies to ensuring that all Arizonans have a voice.
I also look forward to working with Kysten Sinema in the Senate just like we did in the House.
There’s a lot of common ground between us and I’m ready to hit it running.
Arizona’s two senators have always worked together, for decades. That’s our tradition and how we’re most effective. And that’s how I plan to serve.
This is the model that Senator Kyl served with that I witnessed first hand as his legislative fellow 19 years ago.
And I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve in the seat of someone who served our state for decades. Someone who I have immense respect for, John McCain.
John McCain was a giant in the Senate, an Arizona icon, and an American hero.
I’m gonna commit to holding myself to the standard of service that Senator McCain exemplified: putting country before self and always striving to do the right thing for Arizonans.
Our country faces a lot of challenges, but none are as big as the opportunity we have to move America forward and secure a brighter more secure future for all.
I’m again humbled, very humbled, by this opportunity to continue serve and I’m ready to get to work. Thank you.