Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) on Monday conceded defeat to her fellow lawmaker, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), in the race to fill retiring Republican Sen. Jeff Flake’s seat. But the Air Force veteran may still end up back on the Hill come January.

With the winner declared nearly a week after the Nov. 6 midterm elections and after a tight race, Sinema will be the first Democratic senator to represent Arizona since 1988. She has served in Congress since 2013. McSally accepted her loss Monday evening while trailing Sinema by over 38,000 votes, according to the New York Times.

Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.)
Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.)

It is being widely reported that despite her defeat, McSally could yet become Arizona’s second senator, filling Sen. Jon Kyl’s (R-Ariz.) seat as he is set to be replaced in January. Kyl was appointed to the seat by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey following the passing of Sen. John McCain this past August, but has indicated that he does not wish to remain on the Hill next year. His successor would need to run again in 2020 in a special election, and once again in 2022 for a full Senate term.

Ducey, a Republican, is authorized to name Kyl’s replacement. The governor’s office did not respond to a request for comment by Defense Daily’s deadline Tuesday.

McSally sits on the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) and the House Committee on Homeland Security. She is a member of HASC’s tactical air and land forces, and oversight and investigation subcommittees, as well as the House Homeland Security Committee’s emergency preparedness, response and communications subcommittee. She chairs the Homeland Security Committee’s border and maritime security subcommittee.

The first woman to fly in combat after the prohibition on female combat pilots was lifted in 1991, she flew A-10 close air support aircraft over Iraq and Kuwait and was the first female commander of the 354th fighter squadron based at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.