If Rep. Mike Pompeo takes over CIA, how is his House seat filled?

Published: Nov. 18, 2016 at 1:08 PM CST
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Now that Congressman Mike Pompeo has accepted President-Elect Donald Trump's nomination, the question of how to eventually fill his seat jumps to the top of many people's minds.

At some point, Pompeo will need to resign from his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives over Kansas' 4th Congressional District.

Once that seat is vacant, Gov. Sam Brownback has five days to set a date for a special election.

A special election like this does not happen very often. There was one in 1996 to fill Sen. Bob Dole's seat, but you have to go back to 1950 for the last time there was a special election to fill a house seat.

So here's how it works.

The governor will have five days from the day of the vacancy to set the date for the special election, which needs to be set 45 to 60 days from then.

There is currently no statewide election planned in 2017.

If that holds, and your county has no planned elections, this would be the only race on the ballot.

Since Pompeo represents the 4th district, only the 425,000 registered voters who live in the 4th Congressional District will be able to participate.

As for who is on the ballot, each recognized state party will each get one name on the ballot.

Independent candidates can run, but since the state does not recognize a statewide independent party, candidates would have to run by petition.

Candidates would have 25 days from when the governor announces the election date to get signatures from four percent of the registered voters in the district.

In this case, that's about 17,000 signatures, 12,000 more signatures than the maximum required for independent candidates who ran during the general election.

Each party can select it's candidate however it chooses.

For the Republicans, party leaders say they would hold a convention to select a candidate.

After the race, each county has two days to certify the votes, the state will do the same two days later, with the winner able to take office about a week after election day.

So far, several people have expressed interest in the seat. Republicans Todd Tiahrt, Ron Estes, Pete Meitzner, George Bruce, Alan Cobb and Joseph Ashby. For Democrats, Laura Lombard and Robert Tillman have expressed interest. Charlie Walker is also expected to announce his candidacy.