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Government

Governor Brownback Sets Date For Kansas 4th District Special Election

brownback_special_election.jpg
Stephen Koranda
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Kansas Public Radio/File photo

Voters in the 4th Congressional District in south-central Kansas will choose a new member of Congress on April 11.

Republican Mike Pompeo officially stepped down Monday after he was confirmed to become the director of the CIA. Gov. Sam Brownback signed an order Tuesday setting the date for the election.  

Brownback says he chose the earliest Tuesday available under state law because he wants the seat filled quickly.

“This first year of a new administration, when the Republican Party holds the House, Senate and presidency, you’re likely to see a lot of action. You want to get a representative as soon as possible. That was the total basis on which my decision was made,” Brownback said.

After signing the order, Brownback said he would not pick a favorite for the job.

“My role in this process is to set the date, and what I wanted to do was to get it going and moving as soon as possible to give the people of the 4th District a representative as soon as they possibly could get. That’s why we set this date. I do not have a favorite candidate,” he said.

Brownback said he hopes the next person to fill the seat will focus on jobs and the aircraft industry, which has a big presence in the Wichita area.

Kansas lawmakers updated the state’s special election laws in anticipation of Pompeo leaving the seat. Local officials in the political parties will choose their candidates for the race in the coming weeks.

A number of familiar politicians have already said they’re interested. The Republicans include state Treasurer Ron Estes and Todd Tiahrt, who formerly held the 4th District seat. Would-be Democratic candidates include former state Treasurer Dennis McKinney.