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) MoranPompeo pressed on possible Senate run by Kansas media Jerry Moran: 'I wouldn't be surprised' if Pompeo ran for Senate in Kansas Senators introduce bill aimed at protecting Olympic athletes in response to abuse scandals MORE (R-Kan.) said Wednesday he “wouldn’t be surprised” if Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Pentagon waiting for Saudi assessment on attack | Defense bill talks begin | Border fight takes centerstage | Pentagon finalizes .5B in wall contracts | US withholds Afghan aid citing corruption House Armed Services panel gets classified briefing on Saudi attacks US withholds 0M in Afghan aid citing corruption 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.”

ADVERTISEMENT
“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 RobertsInternal poll shows Kobach trailing Democrat in Kansas Senate race Here are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers ramp up Silicon Valley antitrust probe | Treasury sanctions North Korean cyber groups | Thiel to host Kobach fundraiser MORE (R-Kan.).

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPatagonia says to shut stores for a few hours during Global Climate Strike Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices | Trump says it's 'great to see' plan | Progressives pushing for changes On The Money: House votes to avert shutdown, fund government through November | Judge blocks California law requiring Trump tax returns | Senate panel approves three spending bills 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 TrumpMarine unit in Florida reportedly pushing to hold annual ball at Trump property Giuliani clashes with CNN's Cuomo, calls him a 'sellout' and the 'enemy' Giuliani says 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Biden seconds after denying it 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.