U.S. Senate

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.

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.

Long-running frustration about Amtrak’s willingness to keep a rail passenger line running through remote parts of the country has politicians threatening to block new directors to the agency.

A handful of U.S. senators demanded specifics by this week about how Amtrak plans to spend an added $50 million to keep the Southwest Chief line running from Chicago, through Kansas, to Los Angeles.

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."

Liam James Doyle / NPR

The Senate is taking a procedural vote on whether or not to move Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination forward. Watch the proceedings on the Senate floor live here starting at 8:30 a.m. or listen to NPR's coverage and analysis at 89.1 FM.

The Senate took a crucial step Thursday to making sure that, among other things, the hungry are fed, farmers have crop price protections and land is preserved beyond Sept. 30 — that is, the day the farm bill expires.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Lawmakers in Congress are running out of time to pass immigration reform legislation before the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program expires next month.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

With help from Vice President Mike Pence, short-handed U.S. Senate Republicans on Wednesday made Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback President Donald Trump’s ambassador for religious freedom.

Pence twice broke ties on nail-biter, party-line, votes to ultimately confirm Brownback after months of delay. With the governor stepping down from his Statehouse job, soon enough, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer will be ushered into an interim stint as governor.

Senator Jerry Moran

A fifth-generation farmer from the Salina area says technology and data collection in agriculture is improving decision-making and operations.

The comments came during a U.S. Senate committee hearing last week on the utilization of data in farming.

Justin Knopf grows wheat, alfalfa, soybeans and other crops across a 4500-acre farm in Gypsum. He’s also the vice president of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers.

He testified about the increasing use of drones and satellite imagery to collect data from the farm.

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