The first major Trump regime political casualty of the war with Iran is apparently Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's Senate run in Kansas.
There's no way Pompeo would have been able to leave the State Department with his career intact, and he would have been blasted by questions about why he left in the middle of a war to go run for Senate.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday told Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, that he does not plan to run for Senate in 2020, most likely ending Republicans’ hopes of securing a potentially dominant candidate for the open seat in his home state of Kansas, according to four people briefed on the meeting.
Mr. Pompeo, a former congressman from the Wichita area, has quietly explored a campaign for months. But in the aftermath of the military operation last week that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani of Iran, Mr. Pompeo has told senior party officials that he is ruling out becoming a candidate, according to several people who have spoken with him directly.
Mr. Pompeo still has time to change his mind. The filing deadline for the primary is not until June. However, administration officials who have spoken with him in recent days said he seemed adamant about not entering the race.
Without Mr. Pompeo in the race, Republicans face an unsettled primary that includes at least one candidate, Kris Kobach, whom party leaders fear could imperil their hold on a crucial open Senate seat. Mr. Kobach, who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2018, is popular with hard-right primary voters but widely disliked among moderate and independent voters in Kansas.
Several other candidates are competing for the Republican nomination, including Representative Roger Marshall. National Democrats have rallied behind Barbara Bollier, a state senator who left the G.O.P. to become a Democrat a little more than a year ago, as their preferred candidate.
Mr. Pompeo’s decision is a setback for Republicans working to retain their Senate majority in the November elections. Mr. McConnell aggressively courted him for months, and also deployed a number of his lieutenants to make the case that the secretary of state should return to Kansas, which he represented in the House until he joined the Trump administration.
There's a very real possibility now that Kobach wins the primary and loses the general to a Democrat, Barbara Bollier, who has endorsements from both US Attorney Barry Grissom and popular former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. Pompeo was, up until Friday, the GOP's best hope to keep the seat. It's still going to be a tough sell, but Kobach has already lost the 2018 governor's race, and there isn't anything to make me think he improved anything heading into November.
Could be a big pickup for Team Blue.