Tags: Trump Administration | pompeo | kansas | senate | gizzi | pat roberts

Pompeo's 'No Go' Jeopardizes GOP Hold on Kansas Senate Seat

secretary of state mike pompeo
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (Cliff Owen/AP)

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Tuesday, 07 January 2020 07:19 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has finally decided he would stay in his present position and not seek the Republican nomination for the open Senate seat in his native Kansas.

His decision — reported late Monday afternoon by The New York Times and The Washington Post — undoubtedly pleases President Donald Trump, with whom Pompeo has a close relationship.

But Kansas Republicans fear that the decision by Pompeo — by far his state's most popular GOP politician — ratchets up the odds on Democrats electing their first senator from the Sunflower State since George McGill in 1932.

No fewer than seven Republicans are vying for the nomination in the August primary. All are considered conservative in varying degrees and no one is considered the favorite at this point.

Regarded as the top contenders are former Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a nationally known opponent of illegal immigration; State Senate President Susan Wagle; Kansas Turnpike Authority chairman and onetime Kansas City Chiefs football star Dave Lindstrom; and two-term Rep. Roger Marshall.

In contrast, Democrats appear to be uniting behind State Sen. and former Republican Barbara Bollier of Johnson County. Two years ago, Bollier made statewide headlines when, after breaking party ranks to support Democrat Laura Kelly's winning race for governor over Kobach, she formally joined the Democrat Party.

"Morally, the [Republican] Party is not going where my compass resides," she told reporters. "I'm looking forward to being in a party that represents the ideals that I do, including Medicaid Expansion and funding our K-12 schools."

Bollier also voiced her distaste for state Republicans including anti-transgender language in the party platform.

Forty-two years after Kansans elected their first and only woman to the Senate (Republican Nancy Landon Kassebaum, who served from 1978-96), pundits and pols say it would be poignant to have a woman-to-woman race for the same seat between Republican Wagle and Democrat Bollier.

The two have clashed before. When then-Republican Sen. Bollier endorsed a Democrat for Congress in 2018, Senate President Wagle removed her as vice chairman of the Public Health and Welfare Committee.

Whatever the outcome of the race to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Pat Roberts, it is now shaping up as a lot more unpredictable than it would have been had Pompeo become a candidate.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has finally decided he would stay in his present position and not seek the Republican nomination for the open Senate seat in his native Kansas.
pompeo, kansas, senate, gizzi, pat roberts
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2020-19-07
Tuesday, 07 January 2020 07:19 AM
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