Former Rep. Todd Tiahrt’s (Kan.) unusual comeback bid fell short Tuesday night as Rep. Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Cybersecurity: What we learned from Carter Page's House Intel testimony | House to mark up foreign intel reform law | FBI can't access Texas shooter's phone | Sessions to testify at hearing amid Russia scrutiny Trump sent CIA chief to meet ex-NSA official who claims DNC hack was inside job: report The Russian connection MORE easily won their GOP primary battle.

Pompeo took 62 percent of the vote to Tiahrt’s 18 percent when The Associated Press called the race, with 39 precincts reporting.

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Tiahrt’s quixotic challenge to Pompeo came as a surprise for many reasons. He had previously endorsed the incumbent twice, and was running to his left in the primary, criticizing Pompeo for introducing a measure to give state governments control over labeling genetically modified food — a position that puts him in line with many liberals in the House and Senate.

He’s also pushed for more transparency in campaign finance regulations despite defending his own use of earmarks.

But Tiahrt wasn’t known as a liberal during his time in the House, and so it came as somewhat of a surprise that a handful of conservative groups that once gave him near-perfect scores on their scorecards came out opposed to his bid.

Americans for Prosperity has spent more than $409,000 on radio and television ads attacking Tiahrt, and the American Chemistry Council invested another $165,000 opposing his comeback bid.

Tiahrt got support from a super-PAC backed by oil magnate Wink Hartman, to the tune of about $220,000. But he’s been heavily outspent and had just $65,000 cash on hand as of July 16, to Pompeo’s $1.6 million.