A Deadline Passes: Pompeo Is Staying Put

Secretary of state will not run for vacant Senate seat in Kansas
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 1, 2020 2:05 PM CDT
A Deadline Passes: Pompeo Is Staying Put
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a press briefing at the State Department on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, in Washington.   (Nicholas Kamm/Pool Photo via AP)

The passing of Monday's deadline to file to run for Kansas' open Senate seat confirmed that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo won't be a candidate, per the AP. Republican leaders had not expected Pompeo to give up his post as the nation's top diplomat to seek the seat being vacated by retiring four-term Republican Sen. Pat Roberts. Yet until the noon filing deadline, he remained the top choice for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other GOP leaders who saw him as close to a sure thing for keeping the seat in Republican hands. The passing of the filing deadline without an appearance by Pompeo in the state capital—or a form signed by him and witnessed by a Kansas resident appearing in the mail—snuffed out the last dying embers of speculation.

It also left Rep. Roger Marshall and Kris Kobach, the former Kansas secretary of state who lost the 2018 governor's race, as the top rivals in a GOP field of 11 candidates. "Considering the fact that Kris Kobach managed to lose a gubernatorial election in a deep red state, it understandably creates anxiety among Republicans if he were to be the Republican nominee," said Whit Ayres, a GOP pollster. Many Republicans fear that Kobach's nomination would put the seat in play even though Republicans have won every Senate election in Kansas since 1932. The GOP is spooked because the presumed Democratic nominee, Kansas City-area state Sen. Barbara Bollier, a former moderate Republican, raised nearly $3.5 million for her campaign by the end of March, more than any other candidate so far.

(More Mike Pompeo stories.)

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