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Pompeo launches personal Twitter account 'for future plans,' sources say

Michael Wilner, Bryan Lowry and Jonathan Shorman, McClatchy Washington Bureau on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON -- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has launched a personal Twitter account in anticipation of a run for an open Senate seat in Kansas.

A source close to Pompeo said that the Republican "needed to set up a personal Twitter account for future plans," strongly indicating the secretary is laying the groundwork for a run.

A second source close to Pompeo confirmed it is his personal account, initially launched in August but only recently activated with imagery and followers.

The verified account began collecting followers quickly once it was noticed by journalists on Saturday.

The secretary describes himself in his Twitter biography as "husband, father, Kansan and proud American," underneath a rural landscape evoking his home state.

Pomeo, a West point graduate, referenced Saturday's Army-Navy football game in his first tweet. Pompeo was among the officials to attend Saturday's game in Philadelphia.

The former Wichita congressman has quietly considered a run for retiring GOP Sen. Pat Roberts' seat for months, as national Republicans have grown increasingly concerned that another leading candidate, Kris Kobach, Kansas' former secretary of state, would jeopardize the seat if he won the party's nomination.

Kobach lost the 2018 race for governor by 5 percentage points in a state where Republicans outnumber Democrats 2 to 1. Republicans have not lost a Senate race in Kansas since 1932.


McClatchy reported that Pompeo has reached out to major Republican donors in recent months, including Wichita resident Charles Koch and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, to gauge interest in a run.

Pompeo's Twitter account went live just days after The Wall Street Journal reported that an internal poll conducted by the National Republican Senatorial Committee showed that as of October, Kobach was leading all other GOP candidates by double digits with support from 43% of likely primary voters in a race without Pompeo.

The same poll found that Pompeo would absorb roughly 60% of Kobach's voters and easily lead the field with support from 54% of voters if he entered the race. A source familiar with the poll confirmed the accuracy of the figures.

President Donald Trump has floated Pompeo's potential Senate candidacy multiple times in recent weeks, telling Fox News last month that Pompeo would consider a run if the party was in danger of losing the seat.

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