The Latest: Kansas Sen. Roberts retires, touting farm bills

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — The Latest on Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts’ future (all times local):

11:45

Republican Sen. Pat Roberts reviewed a congressional career that included eight farms bills and what he described as success in improving national intelligence after the Iraq war as he announced that he won’t seek re-election in 2020.

Roberts spoke Friday at Kansas Department of Agriculture campus near Kansas State University, his alma mater, surrounded by supporters and family.

Advertisement

Roberts spent 16 years in the U.S. House and has been in the Senate for 22 years, but faced some pressure to step aside in part because he will be 84 next year. He also faced grueling primary and general election contests in 2014.

On Friday he expressed gratitude for friends and supporters over decades in public life.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would become the longest serving member of congress in this state’s history,” Roberts said.

___

11:30 a.m.

Veteran Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas says he will not seek re-election in 2020, setting up an intense political scramble to replace him.

The 82-year-old senator made the announcement Friday following a decades-long career in Congress.

Roberts faced pressure to step aside in part because he would have been 84 when facing voters. He also faced grueling primary and general election contests in 2014.

Roberts began his Capitol Hill career as an aide in 1967. He won a U.S. House seat representing western Kansas in 1980 and was elected to the Senate in 1996. But his longevity became a liability during his 2014 campaign.

Roberts made the Friday announcement just weeks after helping negotiate the final terms of a massive farm bill. He’s chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

___

11:10 a.m.

Longtime Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas will not seek re-election in 2020, setting up an intense political scramble to replace him.

A person with knowledge of the 82-year-old senator’s decision says Roberts will make the announcement Friday. The person declined to be named, saying Roberts wanted to make the announcement himself.

Roberts has spent decades in Congress but faced pressure to step aside in part because he would have been 84 when facing voters. He also faced grueling primary and general election contests in 2014.

Roberts began his Capitol Hill career as an aide in 1967. He won a U.S. House seat representing western Kansas in 1980 and was elected to the Senate in 1996. But his longevity became a liability during his 2014 campaign.

___

9 a.m.

Veteran Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas is preparing to announce whether he will seek re-election in 2020.

Roberts scheduled a “special announcement” for Friday morning at the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s headquarters in Manhattan. Roberts is chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee and is making the announcement weeks after Congress approved a massive farm bill.

Spokeswoman Stacey Daniels said the senator will announce his plans, declining to say whether he will seek re-election.

Roberts is 82 and is serving his fourth term in the Senate. He began his career on Capitol Hill as an aide in 1967.

His longevity became a political liability during tough primary and general election races in 2014.

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.