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The Latest: Kansas Rep. Marshall considering Senate race

January 4, 2019

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

4:40 p.m.

A spokesman says Kansas Rep. Roger Marshall is seriously considering running for the U.S. Senate in 2020 now that Sen. Pat Roberts does not plan to seek re-election.

Marshall spokesman Brent Robertson said Friday that the Republican congressman will not make a formal decision until Congress approves border security funding. The federal government is partially shut down since over President Donald Trump’s demand for funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Marshall represents the 1st Congressional District of western Kansas and won his second term in November. It is the same seat Roberts held for 16 years before being elected to the Senate in 1996.

Other potential Republican candidates include departing Gov. Jeff Colyer and outgoing Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who lost the governor’s race last year.

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12:20 p.m.

Republican Sen. Pat Roberts says he’s concerned about national security policy now that Jim Mattis is no longer U.S. defense secretary.

Roberts said Friday during news conference to announce that he won’t run for re-election in 2020 that, “I worry about our national security.”

The four-term Republican said that Congress has accomplished much during President Donald Trump’s first two years in office, but his remarks about national security contained an implied rebuke of the president.

Roberts said the nation needs a consistent foreign policy that’s in line with the policies of U.S. allies. Roberts is an ex-Marine who served four years as Senate Intelligence Committee chairman.

As for the departure of Mattis, Roberts said: “We were in pretty good shape before that happened.”

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11:45 a.m.

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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