Election 2020

TOPEKA, Kansas — For much of 2019, the conventional wisdom among political operatives held that the 2020 U.S. Senate race in Kansas was Mike Pompeo’s for the taking.

The secretary of state and former CIA director could, many insiders believed, launch even a last-minute campaign and assume the inside track for the Republican nomination to replace retiring Sen. Pat Roberts. After all, he used to be a Republican congressman from Wichita.

At a stop in Kansas City, Kansas, on Sunday, former Vice President Joe Biden stood on the bed of a black Chevy Z71 pickup and told several hundred striking United Auto Workers he was one of them.

“I’m Joe Biden and I am UAW,” he said to cheers and applause outside the General Motors' Fairfax plant. “My dad sold those vehicles. That’s how I got through school."

Updated 12:30 p.m., Oct. 17, 2019 — Democrat Barry Grissom has dropped out and endorsed state Sen. Barbara Bollier.

Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts says he will not run for re-election in 2020, opening the door to a parade of candidates announcing a run or considering jumping into the race to replace him. Multiple Republicans are eyeing the seat, and it could be the first time Democrats have a competitive U.S. Senate primary since the 1990s.

Here’s the rundown of who’s seeking the seat in Washington: 

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File Photo

The race to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts is getting more crowded: Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle said Wednesday that she is jumping into the Republican field.

Drew Angerer/Getty

Democratic presidential hopefuls will soon meet again on the debate stage. What would you ask the candidates to focus on in Kansas if you had the chance?

(This story was updated at 2:15 p.m.)

LEAVENWORTH, Kansas — Republican former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach announced Monday that he’s running for the U.S. Senate seat held by Pat Roberts.

Kobach beat then-Gov. Jeff Colyer in the primary election last year — helped partly by a last-minute endorsement from President Donald Trump — but ultimately lost the governor’s race to Democrat Laura Kelly.

Kansas Democrats scored critical wins in the last election. Now they’re struggling to transform those victories into Democratic-minded policies, and to hold on to the corners of power they’ve captured.

They meet in their annual convention this weekend to pick party leaders and search for consensus on strategies for governing and see if they can repeat last year’s election wins next year.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appears to be ruling out a Kansas Senate race in 2020.

Pompeo, who represented Kansas' 4th Congressional District from 2011 to 2017, says he'll serve as secretary of state as long as President Donald Trump wants him to.

Pompeo was asked on NBC's "Today" show Thursday if he's interested in running for the Senate and replied, "I love doing what I'm doing." When an interviewer said Pompeo sounded as though he wasn't ruling it out, Pompeo said, "It's ruled out."

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service/File Photo

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts has ended the talk — and there's been a lot of it — about his political future. The senior senator from Kansas announced in Manhattan Friday that he won’t be campaigning for a fifth term.