Jerry Moran: 'I wouldn't be surprised' if Pompeo ran for Senate in Kansas

Jerry Moran: 'I wouldn't be surprised' if Pompeo ran for Senate in Kansas
© Kevin Dietsch for The Hill

Sen. Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranSenate Democrats push federal agencies to combat coronavirus scams and robocalls Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Mayor Quinton Lucas Memorial Day during COVID-19: How to aid our country's veterans MORE (R-Kan.) said Wednesday he “wouldn’t be surprised” if Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoHouse postpones testimony from key Pompeo aide about IG firing The Hill's 12:30 Report: Democratic proposal to extend 0 unemployment checks Pompeo pushes back on Russian bounty reports MORE decided to run for Senate next year in Kansas.

“I’ve had conversations with Secretary Pompeo. Certainly the conversations have revolved in part about this issue,” Moran told local reporters, according to Fox 4. “They’ve been weeks ago now and I don’t know what his current thinking is, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he entered that race.”

“I think that he would be a good, solid candidate that would get a lot of support in Kansas,” Moran added.

Pompeo said in July that a Senate run in 2020 is “off the table,” but speculation has persisted that he might still run for the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsCook Political Report shifts Montana Senate race to 'toss up' McConnell plans to stay on as Senate GOP leader even if he loses majority When will Americans — all Americans — declare that enough is enough? MORE (R-Kan.).

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFormer HUD Secretary: Congress 'should invest 0B in direct rental assistance' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House approves .5T green infrastructure plan | Rubio looks to defense bill to block offshore drilling, but some fear it creates a loophole | DC-area lawmakers push for analysis before federal agencies can be relocated House approves .5T green infrastructure plan MORE (R-Ky.) has previously indicated that Pompeo would be his top choice to run for the seat, arguing that his resume and proximity to President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops MORE would make him a strong candidate.

Many Republicans worry that the possible nomination of former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a conservative firebrand who has staked out hard-line positions on immigration and election fraud, could jeopardize the party's chances of keeping the seat in the GOP column next year after he lost the governor’s race last year to a Democrat.

“If it’s Kobach, hell yes, that’s a major race,” a veteran GOP operative with deep ties to Kansas told The Hill earlier this year.

If Pompeo were to jump into the race, he would likely enter as the GOP’s presumptive nominee and help curtail Democrats’ hopes of winning a Senate seat in the Sunflower State for the first time since 1932.

Democrats had hoped to enlist former Health and Human Services secretary and Kansas Gov. Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusCNN to feature teen climate activist Greta Thunberg in coronavirus town hall Jerry Moran: 'I wouldn't be surprised' if Pompeo ran for Senate in Kansas Mark Halperin inks book deal MORE, arguably the most popular Democrat in the state, to run for Roberts’s seat. However, she said in July she will not be a candidate in the race.