Longtime Republican Sen. Pat Roberts will retire and not seek another term in 2020.
Roberts, who is 82, made that official announcement this morning in Manhattan.
He 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.
“I have had the honor and privilege of representing Kansas for 16 years in the House, 22 years in the Senate. Never, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would become the long-serving member of Congress in our State’s history,” Roberts said.
Roberts made the announcement just weeks after helping negotiate the final terms of a massive farm bill. He’s chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
Roberts is a KSU graduate and served as a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1980 where he served eight terms. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996. He is in his fourth term.
According to his biography, Roberts has built a reputation as a national leader in agriculture, health care and defense. He is an advocate of a strong education system, free and fair trade policies, increased investment in science and technology, a focused foreign policy and a strong military.
WEB EXTRA: NBC’s Chuck Todd discusses Sen. Roberts’ retirement
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