Pompeo endorses Kansas AG Schmidt in gubernatorial race
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo endorsed Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt (R) in the state’s gubernatorial race next year as Schmidt consolidates support around his bid.
Pompeo, who also represented Kansas’s 4th Congressional District for six years, touted Schmidt as a “trusted conservative” in his bid to unseat Gov. Laura Kelly (D), who was elected in 2018.
“I’ve known Derek for a long time, and he is the trusted conservative Kansans need in the Governor’s Office. When you look at his record as Attorney General, you see a leader who has always fought for the most vulnerable and always stood up to do the right thing. I’m honored to support Derek for Governor,” he said in a statement.
The endorsement marks an opportunity for Pompeo to flex his muscle in his home state as he mulls a 2024 White House bid. The former secretary of state has raised eyebrows by traveling to a slew of early primary and caucus states like New Hampshire and Iowa and issuing a slate of midterm endorsements. He has also repeatedly declined to explicitly rule out a run.
Schmidt has been consolidating support for his campaign after his main primary rival, former Gov. Jeff Colyer (R), dropped out of the race last month after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Colyer in the same statement announcing his withdrawal endorsed Schmidt.
Pompeo is among the most prominent Republicans to back Schmidt and will likely lend the attorney general additional pro-Trump bona fides in a state the former president won by over 14 points.
“Mike has made Kansans proud as he served in Congress and far beyond,” said Schmidt. “He has been a strong conservative leader for our state, and I’m grateful to have his support as I seek to serve the good people of Kansas as their next Governor.”
The Cook Political Report rates the Kansas gubernatorial race as a “toss-up.”
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