BY ZACHARY STIEBER
Former Congressman and current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Dec. 30 he wasn’t ruling out running for a U.S. Senate seat but did say running for the seat is “not something that I want to do.”
Pompeo, 56, made the remarks during an appearance on “Fox & Friends” a day after National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said Pompeo told him he wasn’t going to run for the open Senate seat in Kansas.
“I’ve watched my life take turns that one would never have expected, but it’s not something I want to do,” Pompeo said.
“I want to stay here and continue to perform the mission that I’m serving President Trump and, I hope, doing a good turn for the American people as well.”
Pompeo said that he and his wife love Kansas and have many friends and relatives there, but “it’s my intention to stay here and continue to serve as President Trump’s secretary of state.”
“I’ve said that consistently. I intend to keep saying it. And as long as President Trump wants me to serve in this capacity, there’s still work to do,” he added.
Asked if he would rule out running, Pompeo did not say he would rule it out.
O’Brien said over the weekend that Pompeo told him recently that “he’s not running for Senate.”
“He said he’s staying in as secretary of state. This is one American who’s very pleased that the president picked Mike and that Mike is committed to staying,” added O’Brien, one of the possible replacements if Pompeo left to run for Congress.
Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who failed to gain the governor’s seat in 2018, is the leading Republican nominee for the Kansas seat up for grabs in 2020. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) is retiring, setting up a situation Democrats hope they can take advantage of to get a Senate seat they haven’t held for decades.
Pompeo would be the frontrunner if he entered the race.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said Pompeo should run for the seat. President Donald Trump said Pompeo would win if he runs.
“If I thought they had somebody out there that couldn’t win—and Mike would, really, he loves what he’s doing. … He came to me and said, ‘Look, I’d rather stay where I am.’ But he loves Kansas, he loves the people of Kansas,” Trump said in November.
“If he thought that there was a chance of losing that seat, I think he would do that and he would win in a landslide because they love him in Kansas.”