Kansas state Rep. Mark Hutton said Wednesday he has decided to drop out of consideration for the Republican nomination to replace U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, who is bound for a new job heading the CIA in the Trump administration.
Hutton, a Wichita Republican and construction company owner, also did not seek re-election to his post in the state Legislature. He was first elected in 2012.
“I have appreciated the many people that have encouraged me to run” for Pompeo’s seat, Hutton said in an e-mail Wednesday. “Their support and offers to help made this decision very difficult but at this time I feel this is the right direction for my family and me.”
Hutton joins Democrat Dan Giroux on the sidelines for the 4th District Congressional race. Giroux, who ran against Pompeo in the November election, opted not to launch another campaign against a different Republican.
Candidates for both parties will be chosen by their respective 4th District party committees.
The race will almost certainly be a two-person contest because minor parties aren’t included.
Independents who wanted to run, including November election candidate Miranda Allen and former gubernatorial candidate Jennifer Winn, said they could not see any possible way to gather 17,000 signatures in about 25 days to make the ballot.
President-elect Donald Trump has selected Pompeo as his appointee to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Pompeo is widely expected to win Senate confirmation and to resign from Congress shortly after Trump takes office in January.
Under the U.S. Constitution, there can be no interim appointment and the seat can only be filled by 4th District voters in an election. Kansas law specifies that after Pompeo resigns, the governor has to call a special election within 45 to 60 days.
After Pompeo resigns, his Capitol office will remain open under the supervision of the Clerk of the House to transact routine business until a replacement is elected and sworn in. No one can cast floor votes on behalf of the 4th District until the seat is filled.