WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Senate confirmed President Donald Trump’s pick to run the CIA.
Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo will take over as director meaning he will resign from his seat in the U.S. Congress.
Though it’s a huge accomplishment for Pompeo, it means Kansas must now hold a speedy election to fill his vacant seat.
The Senate voted 66-32 to confirm Pompeo as CIA Director.
Now that his seat is vacant, behind the scenes, political officials are hard at work getting ready for another election in less than three months.
Vice President Mike Pence wasted no time swearing-in the new CIA Director just about an hour after his confirmation vote.
Senator Pat Roberts spoke at the hearing Monday praising the type of candidate Pompeo is.
“He will respect the limitations we have placed upon our intelligence services, and he will preserve our constitutional values,” said Roberts.
“The clock starts clicking on being able to replace him,” explained Kansas Republican Party Chair Kelly Arnold.
Now, the job of Kansas electors to find Pompeo’s replacement for the 4th district is in full swing. Gov. Sam Brownback must set a date for a special election.
“There’s a lot of details that go into this, from the nominating process to the general election,” Arnold explained.
Arnold says, political parties will have their nominating meetings in mid-February, and the general election in April, significantly cutting down on the election process.
“Usually, in an election for Congress, you have almost a year to find a candidate to campaign, to raise money,” stated Arnold.
Right now, there are six candidates actively campaigning for Pompeo’s seat.
Arnold tells KSN the former congressman will be a tough act to follow, but he and others in the Kansas Republican Party are optimistic about the outcome of this special election.
“Someone who’s going to be representing the 4th District as well as Mike did, who has a good background and will be able to advocate for the interests that we have with the aerospace, with the agricultural community,” explained Arnold.
The last time one of these special elections took place here in Kansas was back in 1950.
Read Congressman Pompeo’s complete statement below.
Six years and two weeks ago, I was sworn in for the first time as a member of the United States House of Representatives with the Constitutional duty to represent the people of the Fourth District of Kansas. It has been a true privilege to do so.
So, my resignation from that duty today marks a turn in my service to each of you. Later today, I anticipate being sworn in to a new role: Director, Central Intelligence Agency. The mission to which President Trump has assigned me is a tough, important, and noble charge. I am looking forward to this next opportunity to serve our nation alongside our intelligence warriors.
I will miss spending time with the people of South Central Kansas as your Representative. Not everyone has agreed with me on everything — no surprise there. But, truly, nearly everyone has been respectful, thoughtful and committed to the same end: ensuring the greatness of our state and our country.
Whether it was telephone town halls or visiting hundreds of great small businesses, I always learned. I always gained a deeper appreciation of the uniquely special place that Susan and I will always call home. I was not able to complete my mission to visit every high school in South Central Kansas, but the thousands of students I met, and the scores and scores of schools I did visit, reinforced for me that the wonderful next generation will keep the seventeen counties I have represented committed to our nation’s traditional values of freedom and liberty.
On my first day in office, I learned of the death of SSG Eric Nettleton in combat halfway around the world. I spoke with his father that first day, and he, at the moment of unimaginable personal anguish, spoke of his faith and mine, and of the love that Eric had in serving in our military. He prayed for me and my family as we began our service to Kansas and America. I have not forgotten that moment, and I never will. It was a greatness that is unique to America and throughout the people of Kansas.
Susan, Nick and I will never be far away in thought. Thank you all for the trust you placed in me for these past six years. May the Lord continue to bless Kansas and the United States of America.”