U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts announced today in Manhattan, Kansas, that he will not seek re-election to the Senate in 2020 and will retire at the end of this term.
Sen. Roberts, 82, is serving his fourth term in the U.S. Senate, starting in 1997, and previously served eight terms in the U.S. House, representing the 1st District in Kansas, from 1980 to 1996. He is the longest serving member of Congress in Kansas history.
Making the announcement in Manhattan, Kansas, near his alma mater, steps from the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility (NBAF) and flanked by Ft. Riley and the pastures of the Flint Hills, Roberts chose the location for its proximity to the various efforts for which he has worked tirelessly over the course of his career in public service.
“Manhattan is an example of all that I have worked for on behalf of Kansans and the nation,” Roberts said. “It is the tangible realization of hope and progress, prosperity and growth.”
Choosing points of the compass, Roberts reflected upon his ongoing work in agriculture, for the military, for economic development, for life science research, for education, for aviation, for national security and much more for the daily lives and pocketbooks of all Kansans.
Concluding his remarks with his agenda for the remaining two years of his current Senate term, Roberts said, “I will be forever grateful to the people of Kansas for allowing me to represent you – and you can bet I still have a very long ‘to do’ list. The fighting for you is a long way from over. I’ve said it before, ‘Marines always take the Hill!’ You can count on me to march forward and press the battle on behalf of our great state and nation.”
Sen. Roberts is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and is the most senior Marine in the House and Senate. He created the Senate Marine Corps Caucus.
He currently is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, and is a senior member of the Senate Committee on Finance, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, the Senate Select Committee on Ethics and the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration. He is the co-chairman of the Senate Rural Health Caucus.
Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, issued this statement: “Senator Pat Roberts has had an impressive tenure as a leader in both the House and the Senate, and has served Kansans honorably as chairman of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Senate Ethics Committee. Pat’s leadership, wit and ability to bring individuals on both sides of the aisle together, skills he honed in service to our nation as a U.S. Marine, will be missed in Congress. It’s been an honor to work with the senior senator from Kansas on behalf of our state. Thank you, Pat, for your friendship and many years of service.”
Gov. Jeff Colyer sent out this statement: “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 offered this statement: “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.”