Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 2010, 2nd term.

Born: December 30, 1963, Orange, CA

Home: Wichita

Education: U.S. Military Academy, B.S. 1986; Harvard U., J.D. 1994.

Professional Career: Practicing atty., 1994-96; CEO, Thayer Aerospace, 1996-2006; pres., Sentry Intl., 2006-10.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Presbyterian

Family: Married (Susan) , 1 children

Republican Mike Pompeo was elected in 2010 to take the place of GOP Rep. Todd Tiahrt, who left to run for the Senate. Pompeo uses his seat on the Energy and Commerce Committee to work against what he considers the excessive regulation of business, particularly of Koch Industries, a generous donor to Pompeo and other conservatives. He easily beat back at 2014 primary challenge from Tiahrt.

Pompeo’s mother met his father over the phone while she was working as a purchasing clerk for Boeing in Wichita, Kan., and he was selling parts to the company from Southern California. They married in Wichita and moved to Santa Ana, Calif., in the heart of conservative Orange County, where Pompeo was born, raised, and attended high school. He graduated first in his class from West Point, and served as a tank platoon leader, cavalry troop executive officer, and squadron maintenance officer in Germany. Pompeo left the Army with the rank of captain. He went on to Harvard Law School, and after graduation, moved to Washington D.C. to join the prestigious Williams & Connolly firm, specializing in tax law. He also volunteered to represent a group of Arkansas residents who were enmeshed in an ultimately unsuccessful effort to uphold term limits for members of Congress.

Pompeo moved to Kansas in 1996, at the invitation of a friend, to start the company Thayer Aerospace. (The company later opened a factory in Mexicali, Mexico, which became an issue in his first primary campaign. His opponents argued that it was evidence that he was willing to outsource jobs from Kansas. Pompeo said in response that a contract he won for the factory created 40 jobs at his Kansas site.) Pompeo was active in Republican politics, working on Sam Brownback’s Senate campaigns and ultimately serving as a GOP national committeeman.

When Tiahrt decided to run for the Senate seat Brownback vacated to run for governor, Pompeo jumped into the Republican primary for the House seat. He faced competition from state Sen. Jean Schodorf and businessmen Wink Hartman, who was initially seen as the front-runner and spent more than $1.6 million on the race. Hartman ran into trouble after Pompeo’s campaign charged that he had taken up residency in Florida for tax purposes. The moderate Schodorf, meanwhile, faced a series of negative ads from outside groups supporting Pompeo, one of which featured a man seeking a hunting license to “bag a RINO”—a reference to “Republican in Name Only,” a pejorative term conservatives use to describe moderates in their party. Pompeo won the primary with 39% of the vote, with Schodorf taking 24%, and Hartman, 23%. Schodorf and Hartman later complained to the The Wichita Eagle about Pompeo’s negative campaigning.

Pompeo’s Democratic opponent in the general election, state Rep. Raj Goyle, sought to emphasize his commitment to helping laid-off aircraft workers in the district, and he was financially competitive, raising $1.9 million to Pompeo’s $2.2 million. Goyle objected strenuously to a billboard ad by a Pompeo supporter that read, “Vote American. Vote for Pompeo.” Goyle, whose parents are from India, called the ad “bigoted,” and it came down. But Pompeo won, 59% to 36%.

In the House, Pompeo established himself as one of the most conservative members of his freshman class. He introduced a resolution in May 2011 calling for the elimination of all energy subsidies, a measure that drew criticism from energy investor T. Boone Pickens. In the debate over raising the nation’s debt limit in 2011, Pompeo blasted President Barack Obama as “irresponsible and reckless.” But he backed the subsequent deal, drawing criticism from some tea party activists. He also was one of four freshmen whom the National Republican Congressional Committee tapped to serve as regional representatives. On an important matter locally, he led congressional criticism of a 2012 Pentagon decision to award a $355 million contract to supply attack aircraft to the Afghan air force. Wichita’s Hawker Beechcraft sued the Air Force after its bid was disqualified.

Most of the attention Pompeo received came from his relationship with Koch Industries, owned by conservative brothers Charles and David Koch. Pompeo received $80,000 in campaign donations from Koch Industries and its employees, more than any other candidate. He hired a former Koch lawyer as his chief of staff, and quickly jumped on some of the brothers’ top legislative priorities, including trying to eliminate funding for a database of consumer complaints about unsafe products and for an Environmental Protection Agency registry of global-warming polluters. “I’m sure he would vigorously dispute this, but it’s hard not to characterize him as the congressman from Koch,” University of Kansas political scientist Burdett Loomis told The Washington Post in March 2011.

Pompeo argued that he shared the company’s belief in limited government, and that that view is widespread in his district. He wrote a February 2012 op-ed column for Politico in which he defended the company against House Democrats who insisted that Koch send a representative to a hearing on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. “Given that many Americans are now desperate for jobs, we should be begging entrepreneurs to look for new opportunities — not attacking them because their companies might make a profit,” he wrote.

Pompeo drew headlines when controversial former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden spoke via video at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Tex., in March 2014. Pompeo wrote an open letter arguing that Snowden's appearance condoned “lawlessness” and perpetuated an “ongoing intentional distortion of truth that he and his media enablers have engaged in.” He also drew attention a month later when he introduced a bill backed by the food and agriculture industries aimed at blocking states' efforts to require mandatory labeling for foods that contain genetically modified ingredients.

Pompeo easily won reelection in 2012, with 62% of the vote to Democrat Robert Leon Tillman’s 32% and a Libertarian candidate’s 6%. But two years later, it looked like he might have a race on his hands when Tiahrt announced just before the May filing deadline that he would try to return to the House. He sought to cast Pompeo as a supporter of the Affordable Care Act, purportedly based on his votes on several bills that continued funding the health care law. But Pompeo fought back, again with considerable financial help from Koch Industries, and notched a blowout 63%-37% primary victory in August.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-6216

(202) 225-3489

CHOB- Cannon House Office Building Room 436
Washington, DC 20515-1604

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-6216

(202) 225-3489

CHOB- Cannon House Office Building Room 436
Washington, DC 20515-1604

DISTRICT OFFICE

(316) 262-8992

(316) 262-5309

7701 East Kellogg Drive Suite 510
Wichita, KS 67207-1722

DISTRICT OFFICE

(316) 262-8992

(316) 262-5309

7701 East Kellogg Drive Suite 510
Wichita, KS 67207-1722

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(316) 633-4700

1310 Perth Court
Wichita, KS 67208

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

1310 Perth Court
Wichita, KS 67208

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Mary Doocy
Legislative Assistant

mary.doocy@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-6216

Aerospace

Patrick Fleming
Legislative Assistant

Agriculture

Blake Hollander
Senior Policy Advisor

Appropriations

Aaron Ringel
Legislative Director

Banking

Aaron Ringel
Legislative Director

Budget

Patrick Fleming
Legislative Assistant

Crime

Blake Hollander
Senior Policy Advisor

Disability

Mary Doocy
Legislative Assistant

mary.doocy@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-6216

Education

Mary Doocy
Legislative Assistant

mary.doocy@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-6216

Energy

Aaron Ringel
Legislative Director

Environment

Aaron Ringel
Legislative Director

Family

Mary Doocy
Legislative Assistant

mary.doocy@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-6216

Finance

Aaron Ringel
Legislative Director

Foreign

Blake Hollander
Senior Policy Advisor

Reagan Thompson
Policy Advisor; Communications Advisor

Health

Aaron Ringel
Legislative Director

Homeland Security

Blake Hollander
Senior Policy Advisor

Immigration

Patrick Fleming
Legislative Assistant

Internet

Aaron Ringel
Legislative Director

Judiciary

Mary Doocy
Legislative Assistant

mary.doocy@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-6216

Labor

Patrick Fleming
Legislative Assistant

Military

Blake Hollander
Senior Policy Advisor

Mary Doocy
Legislative Assistant

mary.doocy@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-6216

Public Works

Patrick Fleming
Legislative Assistant

Religion

Mary Doocy
Legislative Assistant

mary.doocy@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-6216

Seniors

Mary Doocy
Legislative Assistant

mary.doocy@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-6216

Social Security

Mary Doocy
Legislative Assistant

mary.doocy@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-6216

Tax

Blake Hollander
Senior Policy Advisor

Telecommunications

Aaron Ringel
Legislative Director

Trade

Aaron Ringel
Legislative Director

Transportation

Patrick Fleming
Legislative Assistant

Welfare

Patrick Fleming
Legislative Assistant

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Mike Pompeo
Votes: 161,094
Percent: 62.22%
Robert Tillman
Votes: 81,770
Percent: 31.58%
Thomas Jefferson
Votes: 16,058
Percent: 6.2%
2012 PRIMARY
Mike Pompeo
Unopposed
2010 GENERAL
Mike Pompeo
Votes: 119,575
Percent: 58.79%
Raj Goyle
Votes: 74,143
Percent: 36.45%
2010 PRIMARY
Mike Pompeo
Votes: 31,180
Percent: 38.72%
Jean Schodorf
Votes: 19,099
Percent: 23.72%
Wink Hartman
Votes: 18,365
Percent: 22.8%
Jim Anderson
Votes: 10,294
Percent: 12.78%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (59%)

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