Pompeo says possible run for Senate seat in Kansas 'off the table'

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a joint news conference with President of El Salvador Nayib Bukele at the Presidential House in San Salvador, El Salvador, July 21, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday appeared to close the door to a potential run in 2020 for a U.S. Senate seat in Kansas saying it was “off the table,” but he did not rule out the possibility of a presidential run in the future.

On July 17 in a Kansas radio interview, Pompeo had appeared to be weighing a possible run for the seat held by retiring fellow-Republican, Senator Pat Roberts.

“It’s off the table. As a practical matter, I’m going to serve as secretary of state every day that I get the chance to do so,” Pompeo told The Economic Club of Washington D.C. on Monday when asked about his interest in the Senate seat in 2020.

Asked whether he would be interested in running for president at some point, Pompeo said, “I have never been able to predict what my next gig will be and I suspect that is the case with respect to this.”

Kris Kobach, another Republican and a former Kansas secretary of state, announced on July 8 that he would run for the Senate seat.

The Kansas City Star reported on July 26 that Pompeo had had phone conversations within the last two weeks with at least three Kansas Republicans who are considering running. The phone calls could signal that Pompeo is engaging with the race even if he has no plans to enter, the newspaper said.

Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; editing by Grant McCool