“Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday signaled that he is open to considering a run for an open Senate seat in Kansas, months after he declared that he had ruled out a bid,” the Washington Post reports.
Former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D), who served as Health and Human Services secretary in the Obama administration, confirmed to Politico that she will not be jumping into the race for the Senate seat soon to be vacated by retiring Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS).
Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) announced he is running for the U.S. Senate next year, the Wichita Eagle reports.
He is seeking the seat of Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), who announced he is not seeking re-election in 2020.
The Kansas City Star reports Kobach misspelled his own name on the forms filed with the Federal Election Commission.
“Kris Kobach is telling supporters to gather in Leavenworth Monday afternoon, fueling speculation that he could be preparing a run for the U.S. Senate,” McClatchy reports.
“The former Kansas secretary of state has hinted at his interest in retiring Republican Sen. Pat Roberts’ seat for months, but he could face opposition from national Republican groups if he enters the race.”
Kansas State Sen. Barbara Bollier (D), who switched parties last year, sat down with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer this week to discuss a possible run for the U.S. Senate as a Democrat, McClatchy reports.
Bollier discussed the open Senate seat, created by the retiring Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, during a trip to Washington, D.C.
Politico: “Mike Pompeo is the GOP’s best shot at keeping a must-win Senate seat in Republican hands. But he’s also the most stable national security voice in an administration that’s constantly on the verge of cracking up — setting up a high-stakes dilemma for the secretary of State and his party.”
“Pompeo said in February that he had ‘ruled out’ a Senate run in 2020 but several of his confidants say that is simply not the case and that he is quietly evaluating the next steps in his political career.”
“National Republicans are prepared to intervene in the Kansas Senate primary to ensure that conservative firebrand Kris Kobach does not win the party’s nomination should he run,” the Kansas City Star reports.
“Kobach said last week that he is still ‘actively considering’ a bid for the U.S. Senate next year in Kansas. The seat will come open with the retirement of Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, who announced in January that he would not run for re-election.”
Wichita Eagle: “He’s ruled out a U.S. Senate run in 2020. But on the eve of Pompeo’s first official visit to Kansas since his meteoric rise from congressman to secretary of state, the Wichita Republican propped open the door to a political future in his home state.”
Said Pompeo: “I try to just avoid ruling things out when there’s others who are in control. The Lord will get me to the right place.”
“Republicans in the state think that means one of two things — a bid for Senate or the governor’s mansion in 2022. That is, if Pompeo doesn’t decide to run for president in 2024 instead.”
“Republican hardliner Kris Kobach’s inner circle is hinting that he has President Trump’s support for either a Senate run or Cabinet position,” McClatchy reports.
“White House officials have grown frustrated enough with the narrative being pushed by the Kobach camp that a senior administration official took the rare step of trying to squash the speculation.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told NBC News he would not run for U.S. Senate from Kansas.
Said Pompeo: “It’s ruled out. I’m here. I’m loving it… I’m going to be the Secretary of State as long as President Trump gives me the opportunity to serve as America’s senior diplomat.”
“President Trump has dismissed the prospect of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo leaving his post to run for a Senate seat, even as Pompeo has signaled that he is open to the possibility,” the Washington Post reports.
Trump said Pompeo told him he was not leaving his current position and voiced confidence that he would not bolt to pursue a Senate seat in Kansas: “I asked him the question the other day. He says he’s absolutely not leaving. I don’t think he’d do that. And he doesn’t want to be lame duck.”
In a phone call with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last month, Pompeo “had not shut the door on the possibility of a run.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “came close to shutting the door Wednesday on a possible U.S. Senate race, but left it open a crack,” McClatchy reports.
“Pompeo did not explicitly rule out a run, but said his ‘singular focus’ was on his current post and that he plans to serve as long as President Trump wants.”
“Fear that Kris Kobach will capture the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate is driving the effort to recruit Secretary of State Mike Pompeo into the race,” the Kansas City Star reports.
Said GOP steategist David Kensinger: “No one wants to relive the disaster that was the Kobach campaign.”
“Kensinger said attempts to entice Pompeo, who is fourth in line to the presidency as the nation’s top diplomat, to run to replace the retiring Roberts can absolutely be traced to concerns about a possible Senate run by Kobach, the party’s 2018 nominee for governor.”
First Read: “But what does it say about working in the Trump administration that Pompeo running for the Senate is even a possibility? Normally, it’s the other way around – a senator becomes a secretary of state.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “is slated to meet with veteran Republican strategist Ward Baker on Sunday afternoon to discuss a possible 2020 run for the vacant Kansas Senate seat,” Politico reports.
“Pompeo and Baker are expected to talk about what a Senate campaign would entail. Baker has deep political experience, having served as National Republican Senatorial Committee executive director during the 2016 election cycle. During the 2018 midterms, he helped to spearhead Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn’s successful Senate bid. He is also close to McConnell.”
“Senate Republican strategists are pushing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a failsafe candidate to keep retiring Sen. Pat Roberts’s (R-KS) seat in Republican hands in 2020, fearing the state could give Democrats an upset victory,” The Hill reports.
Said one GOP strategist: “We lost a governor’s race. We lost a key House race for a seat that was held by Republicans for several terms. We can’t afford to head into November of 2020 worried about whether a Republican can hang onto the Senate seat in a Republican state like Kansas.”
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), “an unapologetic Republican and champion of Midwest agriculture, said he wouldn’t seek a fifth term and intends to retire at close of a 40-year career representing Kansas in Washington, D.C., the Topeka Capital Journal reports.
Politico: “His retirement has already sparked interest in his seat from a number of other Kansas Republicans, heralding a potentially crowded 2020 primary — though Democrats hope they can make the race competitive after winning the governorship in 2018.”
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) says he plans to decide soon whether to run for a fifth term in 2020, after he speaks with family members and supporters in Kansas over the holidays, Politico reports.
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) “looks vulnerable to Democrats — and some Republicans, and that’s a big reason the 2020 race has quickly drawn a prominent potential challenger, former U. S. Attorney for Kansas Barry Grissom (D),” McClatchy reports.
“Grissom confirmed Monday that he’s been considering a run for U.S. Senate as a Democrat for roughly a year.”
“He’s not officially made his decision, but he’s actively is laying the groundwork to mount a challenge against Roberts, the Kansas Republican who has been in Congress for nearly four decades.”