Roberts says he’ll retire in 2020

By

State News

January 4, 2019 - 4:16 PM

Sen. Pat Roberts

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, the longest-serving member of Congress in Kansas history, announced Friday that he won’t run again in 2020, setting up a scramble to replace him in a GOP-leaning state where Democrats are energized by key victories in last year’s midterm elections.

The 82-year-old, four-term senator was likely to have faced grueling primary and general election contests next year, just as he did in 2014 when his longevity on Capitol Hill became a political liability for him.

Democrats haven’t won a Senate seat in Kansas since 1932. However, Democrat Laura Kelly won the governor’s race in November and the state’s previously all-GOP congressional delegation gained a Democrat when Sharice Davids was elected in a Kansas City-area district.

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