Senate Ag Committee Chairman Pat Roberts Will Not Seek Reelection in 2020Fri, 04 Jan 2019 12:07:13 CST
Senator 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.
He made his announcement in Manhattan, Kansas, the home of his alma mater Kansas State University. He spoke at the headquarters of the Kansas Department of Agriculture, a symbolic location after the 82-year-old Republican shepherded the farm bill to congressional passage with historic majorities last month.
Roberts has served as both the Chairman of the House and Senate Ag Committees, helping craft the 1996 Freedom to Farm Bill in the House and then most recently, has chaired the Senate Ag Committee and also chaired the Conference Committee that worked out details and delivered a 2018 Farm Bill to President Trump, who signed it into law just before Christmas. Roberts is the only lawmaker to ever Chair both Ag Committees and will continue to Chair the Senate Ag Committee until he retires in two years.
“It’s not just having the gavel, it’s what’s you do with the gavel,” Roberts said.
“Many who do not live in farm country just don’t understand the role we Kansans play to feed a troubled and hungry world,” Roberts said.
In all, the Kansas Republican helped craft eight farm bills during his tenure.
One of the Senators that he has worked closely with other the last few years has been Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow, who has served and continues to serve as the ranking member of the Senate Ag Committee. Stabenow offered the following statement on Friday mornikng with word from Senator Roberts:
“Throughout his career, Pat Roberts has been a true champion for American agriculture and for Kansas farmers, ranchers, and families.
“Day in and day out, he defines what it means to be a consensus builder. As my true friend and partner on the Senate Agriculture Committee, he always puts the needs of our farmers and ranchers first and never wavers in his commitment to getting things done.
“It is an honor to serve with him and I look forward to working with him over the next two years on the important issues facing our farmers and families.”
Click here for an in depth article on the career of Senator Roberts and his decision to retire on his terms in 2020.
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