Pompeo not running for open Kansas Senate seat, WH adviser says

Despite the rumors and urgings by fellow Republicans, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will not run for a U.S. Senate seat in Kansas, according to a senior White House adviser.

White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that Pompeo recently confirmed to him that he will not seek a Senate seat that is up for grabs in his home state of Kansas.

“I spoke with him about this two nights ago,” O’Brien said. “He said he's not running for Senate. He said he's staying as secretary of state.”

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O’Brien went on to praise Pompeo – saying that he enjoys working with the former Kansas congressman and called him a “fantastic secretary of state.”

“He was one of the president’s best picks for the cabinet,” O’Brien added.

Rumors have circulated for a while that Pompeo would step down from his role in the State Department to run for a Senate seat in 2020 in Kansas. At the moment, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach leads the polls in the state’s GOP primary, but Pompeo would be expected to be the frontrunner should he enter the race to replace retiring GOP Sen. Pat Roberts.

Given Pompeo’s popularity in the Sunflower state – and Kobach’s past history of making controversial statements – Republican lawmakers have been rumored to be pushing the Secretary of State to run for the seat. Kobach lost his bid in 2018 for Kansas governor.

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“Let me put it this way: it’s certainly his decision,” Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., the National Republican Senatorial Committee chair, told radio host Hugh Hewitt earlier this year. “I can conceive of no one who I’d rather work with in the United States Senate from the state of Kansas than Mike Pompeo.”

Even Pompeo’s current boss, President Trump, has weighed in on a potential Senate run for the Secretary of State, saying that Pompeo would “win in a landslide” if he jumped into the race.