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Jon Kyl

Assumed office 
January 3, 1995
Serving with John McCain
Preceded by Dennis DeConcini

Assumed office 
December 19, 2007
Leader Mitch McConnell
Preceded by Trent Lott

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 4th district
In office
January 3, 1987 – January 3, 1995
Preceded by Eldon D. Rudd
Succeeded by John Shadegg

Born April 25, 1942 (1942-04-25) (age 67)
Oakland, Nebraska
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Caryll L. Collins
Children Kristine Kyl Gavin
John Kyl
Residence Phoenix, Arizona
Alma mater University of Arizona
Occupation Attorney
Profession Lawyer
Religion Presbyterian
This page is about the current Arizona Senator; for his father, a U.S. Representative from Iowa, see John Kyl; for a U.S. Representative from Mississippi with a similar name, see John Kyle.

Jon Llewellyn Kyl (pronounced /ˈkaɪl/) (born April 25, 1942[1]) is the Republican junior U.S. Senator representing Arizona. He is currently the Senate Minority Whip, tasked with maintaining party discipline. Jon Kyl was born in the Midwest and moved to Arizona for College and Law School. He later married and launched his career in Arizona. He ran for the House of Representatives in 1986 and then the United States Senate in 1994. He has been in the Senate since 1995.



Kyl was born in Oakland, Nebraska, the son of Arlene Pearl (née Griffith) and John Henry Kyl,[2] a teacher at Nebraska State Teachers College. His father served as a Congressman from Iowa after moving his family to Bloomfield, Iowa. After graduating from high school in 1960, Kyl attended the University of Arizona where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1964, graduating with honors. Kyl was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He then earned a law degree in 1966 at the University of Arizona's James E. Rogers College of Law, and served as editor-in-chief of the Arizona Law Review. Before entering politics, he was a lawyer and lobbyist with Jennings, Strouss & Salmon in Phoenix, Arizona.[3]

Kyl is married to Caryll Collins, with whom he has had two children, Kristine Kyl Gavin and John Kyl. He has four grandchildren, Frances Kyl, Christopher Gavin, Jonathan Kyl, and Alicia Gavin.

U.S House of Representatives

Kyl served in the House of Representatives from 1987 to 1995. He won his initial election in 1986 against Democrat Philip R. Davis, 64.5% to 35.5%; won in 1988 against Gary Sprunk of the Libertarian party, 87% to 13%, and won in 1990 against Democrat Mark Ivey, Jr., 61% to 39%.

U.S. Senate



1994 and 2000

Kyl was first elected to the Senate in 1994, defeating Samuel G. Coppersmith (D), then a member of the House of Representatives, 54% to 40%. Libertarian Party candidate Scott Grainger got 6% of the votes.

Kyl was reelected in 2000 without major-party opposition, with 79.3% of the vote. Independent William Toel got 7.8%; Green Party candidate Vance Hansen also got 7.8%; and Barry Hess of the Libertarian Party got 5.1%.

2006 re-election campaign

On November 7, 2006, Kyl defeated real estate developer and former Arizona Democratic Party chairman Jim Pederson to win his third term in the Senate.[4] Kyl won with 53.3% of the vote; Pederson received 43.5%; and Libertarian Party candidate Richard Mack received 3.2%.

The race was one of the most expensive in Arizona history, with Kyl raising more than $15 million and Pederson raising just shy of that amount.[1]

A major issue in the campaign was illegal immigration. While in the Senate, Kyl cosponsored legislation that would give illegal immigrants up to five years to leave the country. Once there, they could apply for permanent residence or be guest workers.[5] Since fellow Arizona Senator John McCain opposed this legislation, Pederson tried to use the issue as a way of allying with McCain and dividing the Republicans in Arizona.[6] Controversy also arose when each candidate accused the other of supporting the amnesty provisions in a 1986 immigration bill, although both candidates deny ever supporting those provisions.[7]

Kyl appeared in the U.S. national news near the end of the campaign as an example of a case where some bloggers were attempting to influence search engine results for searches on Kyl's name, using Google bombs.[8]

Leadership positions

Kyl has been elected by his fellow Senate Republicans to a succession of leadership posts: Policy Committee chairman (2003–2007), Conference chairman (2007), and most recently (in December 2007), Senate Minority Whip.[9] Kyl's ascension to Minority Whip makes him the first Arizonan to hold such an influential Senate leadership post since Democrat Ernest W. McFarland served as Senate Majority Leader from 1951 to 1953. Kyl is the only Arizona Republican to hold such a powerful leadership position.

Political positions and actions

Kyl is considered to be a conservative,[10] and was ranked by National Journal as the fourth-most conservative United States Senator in their March 2007 conservative/liberal rankings.[11]

Senator Kyl was one of the original sponsors, along with Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, of an effort to amend the United States Constitution to protect crime victims' rights in the criminal justice system. When in 2004 it appeared that the constitutional amendment would not receive the requisite 2/3 support to pass the Senate, Senators Kyl and Feinstein authored the Crime Victims' Rights Act which listed a victims' bill of rights and provided mandamus relief in appellate court for any victim denied those rights.[12] The act also offered sanctions against government officials who wantonly and willfully refused to comply with the Crime Victims' Rights Act. Senators Kyl and Feinstein described their collaboration as a high point of bipartisan collaboration in their careers. In front of the Senate, Senator Kyl said "This legislation would not be before us today without Senator Feinstein. That is simply a fact. For all of the hard work we have put in with her cooperation and her commitment to this, I thank Senator Feinstein deeply. She knows that bond of trust will continue to exist between us."[13] Senator Kyl continued his support for victims rights, proposing, on June 29, 2007, a bill revising the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure to enhance procedures for victims, guaranteeing a right to be free of delay and procedures to protect victim privacy.[14]

In February 2006, Kyl joined Senator Lindsey Graham in filing an amicus brief in the Hamdan v. Rumsfeld case. The brief presented to the Supreme Court of the United States an "extensive colloquy" added to the Congressional record. It was not, however, included in the December 21st debate as evidence that "Congress was aware" that the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 would strip the Court of jurisdiction to hear "pending cases, including this case" brought by the Guantanamo detainees.[15]

In April 2006, Kyl was selected by Time Magazine as one of "America's 10 Best Senators"; the magazine cited his successful behind-the-scene efforts as head of the Senate Republican Policy Committee.[16]

In September 2006, working with then-Congressman Jim Leach, Jon Kyl was a major Senate supporter of Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. The Act was passed at midnight the day Congress adjourned before the 2006 elections. Prior to it being added to the bill, the gambling provisions had not been debated by any Congressional committee, although the general issue had been debated in multiple times in the past.[17] When the Obama administration delayed publication of the associated regulations until June 2010, Kyl responded by denying unanimous consent to confirm the appointment of 6 nominees to the US Treasury Department, none of whom specialized on gambling issues.[18]

In February 2009 Kyl invited the Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders to show his film Fitna in the Capitol building in Washington.[19]

In April 2009, Kyl opposed the nomination of Kathleen Sebelius for Secretary of Health and Human Services because of the Obama administration's support for research on the comparative effectiveness of various disease treatments[20].

Committee assignments

See also


  1. ^ Jon Kyl bio at
  2. ^ Senator Jon Kyl at
  3. ^ Darrin Hostetler (August 11, 1994). "Bland Ambition: He's Running for the U.S. Senate as an Outsider, a Boring Straight Arrow with the Common Touch". Phoenix New Times. 
  4. ^ Josh Brodesky (November 8, 2006). "Kyl clinches his third term in tough race with Pederson". Arizona Daily Star. 
  5. ^ "GOP Senators Look for Compromise on Immigration Reform". Fox News. April 4, 2006.,2933,190550,00.html. 
  6. ^ Josh Brodesky (September 25, 2006). "For both sides, McCain becomes all-purpose asset". Arizona Daily Star. 
  7. ^ "Pederson, Kyl trade barbs about amnesty". Arizona Republic. 
  8. ^ Zweller, Tom, Jr. (2006-10-26). "A New Campaign Tactic: Manipulating Google Data". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-23. 
  9. ^ Bart Jansen and Alan K. Ota (December 6, 2007). "Kyl, Alexander Move Up in Senate GOP Leadership". CQ Politics. 
  10. ^ Robert Nelson (April 13, 2006). "Stealth Zealot". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 2006-10-03. 
  11. ^ "Political Arithmetik: National Journal 2006 Liberal/Conservative Scores". 
  12. ^ 18 U.S.C. § 3771 (West 2008).
  13. ^ 150 Cong Rec S 4260, April 22, 2004.
  14. ^ Cong. Rec. S8745, June 29, 2007
  15. ^ Emily Bazelon (March 27, 2006). "Invisible Men: Did Lindsey Graham and Jon Kyl mislead the Supreme Court?". Slate Magazine. 
  16. ^ Burnett, David (April 14, 2006). "Jon Kyl: The Operator". Time Magazine.,8599,1183960,00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-23. 
  17. ^ Nelson Rose (2006). "The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 Analyzed". Retrieved 2009-01-23. 
  18. ^ "Kyl Blocking Treasury Nominees Because He Doesn’t Like Internet Gambling". Retrieved 2010-01-11. 
  19. ^ NY Times Feb. 26, 2009
  20. ^ "GOP Stymies Vote on Sebelius". Retrieved 2009-04-27. 

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Eldon D. Rudd
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 4th congressional district

Succeeded by
John B. Shadegg
United States Senate
Preceded by
Dennis DeConcini
United States Senator (Class 1) from Arizona
1995 – present
Served alongside: John McCain
Political offices
Preceded by
Trent Lott
Senate Minority Whip
December 19, 2007 – present
Party political offices
Preceded by
Larry Craig
Chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee
Succeeded by
Kay Bailey Hutchison
Preceded by
Rick Santorum
Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference
January 4, 2007 – December 19, 2007
Succeeded by
Lamar Alexander
Preceded by
Trent Lott
Senate Republican Whip
December 19, 2007 – present
United States order of precedence
Preceded by
Olympia Snowe
United States Senators by seniority
Succeeded by
Ron Wyden
Representatives to the 100th–111th United States Congresses from Arizona (ordered by seniority)
100th Senate: D. DeConcini | J. McCain House: M. Udall | B. Stump | J. Kolbe | J. Kyl | J. J. Rhodes III
101st Senate: D. DeConcini | J. McCain House: M. Udall | B. Stump | J. Kolbe | J. Kyl | J. J. Rhodes III
102nd Senate: D. DeConcini | J. McCain House: B. Stump | J. Kolbe | J. Kyl | J. J. Rhodes III | E. Pastor
103rd Senate: D. DeConcini | J. McCain House: B. Stump | J. Kolbe | J. Kyl | E. Pastor | S. Coppersmith | K. English
104th Senate: J. McCain | J. Kyl House: B. Stump | J. Kolbe | E. Pastor | J. D. Hayworth | M. Salmon | J. Shadegg
105th Senate: J. McCain | J. Kyl House: B. Stump | J. Kolbe | E. Pastor | J. D. Hayworth | M. Salmon | J. Shadegg
106th Senate: J. McCain | J. Kyl House: B. Stump | J. Kolbe | E. Pastor | J. D. Hayworth | M. Salmon | J. Shadegg
107th Senate: J. McCain | J. Kyl House: B. Stump | J. Kolbe | E. Pastor | J. D. Hayworth | J. Shadegg | J. Flake
108th Senate: J. McCain | J. Kyl House: J. Kolbe | E. Pastor | J. D. Hayworth | J. Shadegg | J. Flake | T. Franks | R. Grijalva | R. Renzi
109th Senate: J. McCain | J. Kyl House: J. Kolbe | E. Pastor | J. D. Hayworth | J. Shadegg | J. Flake | T. Franks | R. Grijalva | R. Renzi
110th Senate: J. McCain | J. Kyl House: E. Pastor | J. Shadegg | J. Flake | T. Franks | R. Grijalva | R. Renzi | G. Giffords | H. Mitchell
111th Senate: J. McCain | J. Kyl House: E. Pastor | J. Shadegg | J. Flake | T. Franks | R. Grijalva | G. Giffords | H. Mitchell | A. Kirkpatrick


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