PHOENIX — Arizona has developed a reputation as one of the country's political flashpoints, with debates over immigration, rambunctious populists and a divided GOP.

First-term Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, who has navigated the state's political waters with a buttoned-down approach, became the focus of national attention this week following the death of Sen. John McCain.

The onetime chief executive officer of ice cream chain Cold Stone Creamery on Tuesday named former Sen. Jon Kyl to temporarily fill the vacancy.

READ: Jon Kyl officially sworn in for second tour as Arizona's senator

The move was a big win for conservatives, with the GOP only retaining a two-vote majority in the Senate as confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh looms.

But it also was a relatively safe pick that won't stir up much controversy within party ranks, in line with the way Ducey has governed.