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) MoranSchiff closes Democrats' impeachment arguments with emotional appeal to remove Trump Senate Republicans confident they'll win fight on witnesses McConnell keeps press in check as impeachment trial starts MORE (R-Kan.) said Wednesday he “wouldn’t be surprised” if Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo explodes at NPR reporter, asks if she could find Ukraine on a map Huawei endangers Western values The Hill's 12:30 Report: Democrats turn to obstruction charge 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.”

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“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 RobertsSenate fails to get deal to speed up fight over impeachment rules Juan Williams: Counting the votes to remove Trump Senate GOP hopes to move new NAFTA deal before impeachment trial MORE (R-Kan.).

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group Democrats feel political momentum swinging to them on impeachment Impeachment throws curveball in Iowa to sidelined senators 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 TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group 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 SebeliusJerry Moran: 'I wouldn't be surprised' if Pompeo ran for Senate in Kansas Mark Halperin inks book deal 2020 Democrats fight to claim Obama's mantle on health care 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.