KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Kansas Senator Jerry Moran says he wouldn’t be surprised if Secretary of State Mike Pompeo decided to run for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Senator Pat Roberts.
Top Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, are urging Pompeo to get into the race.
Speaking to reporters during a tour of Kaw Point, Moran said he’s been in contact with Pompeo about the seat.
“I’ve had conversations with Secretary Pompeo. Certainly the conversations have revolved in part about this issue,” Moran said. “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.”
Many in the GOP are privately worried that former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach getting the nomination could hurt their chances of keeping the must-win seat in Republican hands.
“Kris Kobach has a strong following in Kansas and certainly in a Republican primary. It’s important that whoever the Republicans nominate have a reasonable change of being elected in November,” Moran said.
Pompeo said in February that a Senate run is “off the table,” but that hasn’t stopped speculation that he is still considering the option.
Pompeo is set to speak Sept. 6 at Kansas State University. Moran said he’s likely to revisit the issue of the Senate race with Pompeo when he gives the lecture in Manhattan.