The chances of Kansas electing a Democratic senator for the first time since 1932 may have just gone up. Sources tell the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has ruled out a Senate run in the state this year. The sources say Pompeo informed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of his decision on Monday. "He loves doing the job he’s doing right now and feels that things are too volatile with the various situations around the world, particularly with Iran and Iraq, and he wants to make sure he’s in the best spot to serve his country," an insider tells the Journal.
Pompeo represented the state's 4th District in the House from 2011 until President Trump appointed him director of the CIA in 2017. Republicans had hoped he would be a clear favorite to replace Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, who is retiring. Politico reports that party officials fear there will now be a fierce GOP primary battle, with divisive hardliner Kris Kobach potentially winning. Kobach lost the state's gubernatorial race in 2018 to Democrat Laura Kelly after narrowly defeating incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer in the GOP primary. Whoever wins the GOP Senate primary is expected to face Democratic state Sen. Barbara Bollier, a former Republican who switched parties last year. (Read more Mike Pompeo stories.)