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Sixth GOP senator unlikely to attend Republican convention

Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsSenate GOP faces retirement brain drain Roy Blunt won't run for Senate seat in 2022 Lobbying world MORE (R-Kan.) said on Thursday that he was unlikely to attend the Republican convention in Jacksonville, Fla., next month, citing scheduling conflicts.

"Well, I have some things to do in Kansas that I got to do and unfortunately I didn't know what was canceled and what was not and whatever, and so I will probably not be," Roberts said when asked if he was going to the convention.

Roberts, who is retiring at the end of the year, is the sixth GOP senator to indicate they will not attend the Republican convention in Jacksonville, Fla., next month, where President TrumpDonald TrumpMaria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' The Memo: The center strikes back Republicans eye Nashville crack-up to gain House seat MORE will formally accept the party's nomination.

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Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck Grassley 64 percent of Iowans say 'time for someone else' to hold Grassley's Senate seat: poll Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision On The Money: Yellen, Powell brush off inflation fears | Fed keeps rates steady, upgrades growth projections MORE (R-Iowa) became the first senator to say they would not attend, citing concerns about the coronavirus. He was quickly followed by Sens. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderAuthorities link ex-Tennessee governor to killing of Jimmy Hoffa associate The Republicans' deep dive into nativism Senate GOP faces retirement brain drain MORE (R-Tenn.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsPortman: Republicans are 'absolutely' committed to bipartisan infrastructure bill Democratic clamor grows for select committee on Jan. 6 attack Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting MORE (R-Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiPortman: Republicans are 'absolutely' committed to bipartisan infrastructure bill Democrats facing tough reelections back bipartisan infrastructure deal Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting MORE (R-Alaska) and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyPortman: Republicans are 'absolutely' committed to bipartisan infrastructure bill Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle MORE (R-Utah).

Alexander's office said he wasn't going because he wanted to give other people a chance to be a delegate. An aide for Collins said she never intended to go because she does not attend national conventions when she is up for reelection. Collins faces a tough fight for her seat in Maine, with the outcome one of a handful of races that will determine who controls the Senate majority next year.

Spokespeople for Romney and Murkowski did not specify why they were not attending, and did not respond to follow-up questions.

But they've both had high-profile breaks with Trump. Romney has not said who he will vote for in November but indicated to The Atlantic in February that he could write in his wife's name, which he did in 2016. Murkowski, who did not vote for Trump in 2016, told reporters last month that she was "struggling" with whether she could support him.

The recent increase in coronavirus cases in Florida has thrown another curveball into plans for Trump's convention, which was already moved from Charlotte, N.C., to Jacksonville, Fla., over a dispute with the North Carolina governor about requiring social distancing.

Trump acknowledged in an interview this week that his convention plans could change further due to the spread of the virus.

“Now all of a sudden it’s spiking up a little bit, and that’s going to go down. It really depends on the timing. Look, we’re very flexible, we could do a lot of things, but we’re very flexible,” Trump told Greta Van Susteren, host of “Full Court Press.”