Sen. Jon Kyl will resign from the Senate at the end of the month, giving Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey a second appointment to fill the seat previously occupied by the late John McCain.
Mr. Ducey announced Friday that he had received a resignation letter from Mr. Kyl.
“Thank you for appointing me to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy created by John McCain’s death,” Mr. Kyl wrote in the letter. “It has been an honor and a privilege to again serve the people of Arizona.”
Mr. Kyl previously served 18 years in the Senate and became the chamber’s second-highest ranking Republican leader before retiring in 2013. He returned to fill his former colleague’s seat after McCain’s death Aug. 25.
He agreed at the time that he the would serve until the end of the 115th Congress.
Mr. Ducey expressed hope that the veteran senator could be convinced to stay on until 2020, when a new election will be held for a full six-year term for the Senate seat from Arizona.
In the letter, Mr. Kyl said he had “reevaluate continuing to serve.”
Mr. Ducey praised Mr. Kyl for again serving the people of Arizona.
“Senator Kyl didn’t need to return to the Senate,” Mr. Ducey said in a statement. “His legacy as one of Arizona’s most influential and important political figures was already without question. But he did return, and I remain deeply grateful for his willingness to step up and serve again when Arizona needed him. I wish him and his family all the best.”
Mr. Ducey, a Republican, tapped Mr. Kyl for the vacancy that occurred in the midst of a fierce campaign for the state’s other Senate seat.
The governor has not signaled who is on the short list this time, but outgoing GOP Rep. Martha McSally’s name is frequently mentioned among Arizona politicos.
Ms. McSally lost to Democrat Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in the November election to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Jeff Flake.