Pat Roberts set to announce whether he will pursue reelection

Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsKobach says he's more prepared for 'propaganda' in Senate campaign Pompeo: Senate run 'off the table' Grassley gambles on drug price bill despite GOP doubts MORE (R-Kan.) will make an announcement Friday afternoon about whether he’ll run for a fifth term in 2020, according to multiple media reports.

Roberts, who has served in Congress since the 1980s, will make an announcement about his political future at the Kansas Department of Agriculture, the reports noted. He will be 84 by the 2020 election.

Roberts was first elected to the Senate in 1996 and prior to that served in the House for 16 years. The GOP senator faced a challenging primary in 2014 from a Tea Party candidate, but Roberts ultimately won reelection by a double-digit margin.


Roberts’s retirement would likely trigger a crowded GOP primary in 2020, where Republicans would go in favored to keep the Kansas seat in GOP hands.

Sources familiar with Rep. Roger MarshallRoger W. MarshallOvernight Energy: Trump officials gut DC staff for public lands agency to move West | Democrats slam EPA over scientific boards | Deepwater Horizon most litigated environmental issue of decade Democrats, scientists slam Trump administration actions on scientific boards Kansas Republican suggests Kobach candidacy threatens Senate GOP majority MORE’s (R-Kan.) thinking say he’s considered running for Senate.

Speculation is also swirling around Republican lawmakers who recently lost their 2018 campaigns, including former Rep. Kevin YoderKevin Wayne YoderK Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers Kansas Senate race splits wide open without Pompeo Mike Pompeo to speak at Missouri-Kansas Forum amid Senate bid speculation MORE (R-Kan.) and former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who lost his gubernatorial bid in November.

Kansas Democrats haven’t been elected to a Senate seat in several decades, but they feel more emboldened about their chances after state Sen. Laura Kelly (D) narrowly defeated Kobach in the 2018 governor’s race.

Former U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom has been considering a run for the Democratic nomination for about a year.

Juliegrace Brufke contributed