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Talk of Senate Race May Raise Pompeo’s Profile in Kansas

A sign pointing to a polling place during the recent Kansas caucus. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

Republican Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo, from Wichita, continues to drop hints that he’ll challenge fellow Republican Jerry Moran for his Senate seat. On a talk show, Pompeo said he’ll likely make a decision in the next week. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, Pompeo could benefit even if he doesn’t run.

Fort Hays State University Political Science Professor Chapman Rackaway says just the talk of running helps raise Pompeo’s profile statewide. He could run for a higher office in the coming years or try to take the mantle of the conservative standard bearer. Rackaway says Governor Sam Brownback currently holds that position in Kansas.

“There’s a knowledge among conservative Republicans in the state that there’s a changing of the guard afoot. Sam Brownback's going to be out of office in a couple of years. There is a push to become the permanent leader of the conservative movement,” says Rackaway.

This all started after Moran called for hearings on Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court, then changed his position after facing pressure from conservative groups. Even initially, Moran doubted he would support the president’s nominee.

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