Senator Pat Roberts

Pat Roberts Announces Retirement

Senator Pat Roberts made it official.  In November, word began circulating that Roberts would make an announcement about his future, after the first of the year. This past week, Roberts made good on that promise.  HIs announcment, that he was retiring and would not seek re-election in 2020, is what many had expected.

Politico reported the announcement,

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) announced Friday that he will retire in 2020 instead of running for reelection.

Roberts, 82, has served four terms in the Senate and last won reelection in 2014 after facing a bruising Republican primary. His retirement has already sparked interest in his seat from a number of other Kansas Republicans, heralding a potentially crowded 2020 primary — though Democrats hope they can make the race competitive after winning the governorship in 2018.

Comments from Other Leaders

In a statement to the Gazette, Governor Jeff Colyer said,

“Senator Pat Roberts has spent more than 30 years serving the people of Kansas, and during that time he has been a shining example of statesmanship. The work that he has done for our state, especially in the agricultural sector, is second to none. Throughout his time in office, Kansans have been able to rely on Pat Roberts’ expertise, energy, and gravitas. It is essential that our next U.S. Senator bring these same qualities to the job.”

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt also released a statement saying,

“Pat Roberts has long been a solid cornerpost in the sometimes-unfenced chaos that can be Washington, D.C. From his unparalleled leadership for Kansas agriculture to his unwavering support for the U.S. military and America’s ever-evolving national security requirements, Pat always has led with the needs of Kansas foremost on his mind. I am personally saddened to know he plans to exit the stage. In this strident political era, Pat Roberts’ often humorous and frequently tempered conservative voice will be sorely missed. Thanks for your lifetime of public service, Pat.”

Who Will Replace the Senator?

Neither statement indicated one way or the other, whether they would run for the seat being vacated next year.  However, the list of potential Republicans wiching to run for the seat is growing.

Representative Dr. Roger Marshall, who has confirmed he is considering a run.

Wink Hartman, who was Kris Kobach’s Lieutenant Governor runningmate, is said seriously considering a run also.

Kobach, is also reportedly considering a run.

On the Democratic side former U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom, had confirmed last month that he was considering a run.  He currently is the only Democrat known to be considering the seat.