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Senator McCain's November seat not up for grabs after midnight deadline passes

Posted at 6:28 AM, May 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-31 19:42:41-04

A key deadline quietly passed overnight, with huge political implications in Arizona and across the country.

Senator John McCain's seat will officially not be up for grabs this November. That deadline passed at midnight and it's important for several reasons, especially for Republicans who are fighting to keep control in the Senate in the upcoming November mid-terms.

Sen. McCain is battling brain cancer and hasn't returned to Washington in months.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey's office confirmed that he and First Lady Angela Ducey met with the McCains near Sedona on Tuesday.

Since the midnight deadline passed, Ducey would appoint someone to McCain's seat should he step down. 

A statement from the governor's spokesperson made it clear he hopes Sen. McCain will serve until his term is over in 2022.

RELATED: McCain gets visits from Biden, Graham after surgery

Had McCain decided to step aside, it could have created chaos with both Senate seats coming up for election at the same time. Now it's guaranteed Arizona will have at least one Republican senator beyond this fall.

RELATED: Arizona Senate moves to change rules on replacing McCain

Should the senator decide to step down now, some of the names being talked about to replace him are his wife, Cindy McCain, but also former Attorney General Grant Woods and former Senator Jon Kyl.

MORE: ASU iskeeperof Sen. McCain archives