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Kansas City Star to Pompeo: 'Focus on your day job' or launch Senate bid

A top local newspaper is calling on Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo: US response to Floyd protests a ‘stark contrast’ to authoritarian regimes Trump administration accuses international court of corruption at ‘highest levels,’ authorizes sanctions A crisis on the Korean peninsula reinforces the need for allies MORE to definitively declare if he is running for a Senate seat in Kansas, saying he should either launch his campaign or focus on his “day job.”

“If Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is running to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsTrump tweets spark fresh headache for Republicans Trump’s tweet on protester sparks GOP backlash  GOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism MORE, Republican of Kansas, then he should quit his rather important day job and do that,” The Kansas City Star’s editorial board wrote following a visit from Pompeo to Kansas this week.

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“Or if, as he told The Star and The Wichita Eagle in a testy, credulity-straining interview on Thursday, he isn’t even thinking about it, then he should by all means focus on U.S. diplomacy — remember diplomacy? — and stop hanging out here every chance he gets.”

GOP leaders have urged Pompeo to run for the Kansas Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Pat Roberts (R), though he has not indicated if he will follow the urging of his Republican colleagues. 

“I’ve had conversations with Secretary Pompeo. Certainly the conversations have revolved in part about this issue,” Kansas Sen. Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranCoronavirus Report: The Hill’s Steve Clemons interviews Mayor Quinton Lucas Memorial Day during COVID-19: How to aid our country’s veterans Pass the Primary Care Enhancement Act MORE (R) told local reporters las month. “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 fear that a possible nomination of former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a conservative firebrand who has staked out hardline positions on immigration and election fraud, could jeopardize their chances of keeping the must-win seat in the Republican column in 2020 after he lost the governor’s race last year.

“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.

Should Pompeo ultimately choose 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 Kansas for the first time since 1932.

However, The Star urged Pompeo to end speculation among Kansas voters and commit to either leading the State Department or running for Senate. 

The Star said if Pompeo is indeed running to replace Roberts, he will “have to drop the put-upon posture and answer the many valid questions that a Senate run would require with less attitude and more truthfulness.”

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