TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) Secretary of State Mike Pompeos declaration Tuesday that he wont run for Senate in Kansas returned some Republicans to worrying that they cant block a polarizing conservative from winning the GOP nomination and putting the seat in play.
Pompeos decision to remain as the nations top diplomat, assuming he sticks by it, means the GOP cant dodge the issue that had prompted top Republicans to woo Pompeo for months. They saw Pompeo as the best bet for torpedoing hard-right immigration policy advocate Kris Kobachs bid for the Senate.
The turmoil in the Middle East that preceded Pompeos decision could help Kobach with hawkish GOP primary voters. Kobach, the former Kansas secretary of state, has spent two decades building a national profile partly by framing illegal immigration as a national security issue and touting his work with the U.S. Justice Department right after the 9/11 terror attacks.