Sixth GOP senator unlikely to attend Republican convention

Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsTrump's controversial Fed nominee stalled after Senate setback Business groups scramble to forge ties amid race for House Agriculture chair Republicans hold on to competitive Kansas House seat 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 John TrumpBiden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden MORE will formally accept the party's nomination.


Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyRep. Rick Allen tests positive for COVID-19 On The Money: Biden to nominate Yellen for Treasury secretary | 'COVID cliff' looms | Democrats face pressure to back smaller stimulus Loeffler to continue to self-isolate after conflicting COVID-19 test results 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 AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderWe need a college leader as secretary of education As Biden administration ramps up, Trump legal effort drags on The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump holds his last turkey pardon ceremony MORE (R-Tenn.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTwo more parting shots from Trump aimed squarely at disabled workers Trump transition order follows chorus of GOP criticism The Memo: Trump election loss roils right MORE (R-Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiTrump administration denies permit for controversial Pebble Mine Trump transition order follows chorus of GOP criticism The Memo: Trump election loss roils right MORE (R-Alaska) and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyThe Memo: GOP mulls its future after Trump Biden teams to meet with Trump administration agencies Paul Ryan calls for Trump to accept results: 'The election is over' 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.”