Retiring U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., has made a decision on which GOP candidate he’ll support to succeed him come January.
Roberts said Tuesday he backs U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall in the state’s Aug. 4 Republican primary over Kris Kobach, the former Kansas secretary of state and onetime chairman of the state’s Republican Party.
“I believe Roger Marshall will continue the fight for the same issues that ensured my re-election for the last 40 years,” Roberts wrote in a statement, according to KCTV-TV of Kansas City, Mo.
U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., speaks in Washington, Dec. 11, 2018. (Associated Press)
Roberts, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, noted that Marshall has already attracted endorsements from the Kansas Farm Bureau and the Kansas Livestock Association, the Kansas City Star reported.
Marshall has also attracted the backing of former Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole, a former U.S. senator from Kansas who turns 97 years old Wednesday.
Roberts, 84, who has served in the Senate since 1997 and was previously a congressman from 1981 to 1997, previously said he would remain neutral in the GOP Senate race, the Star reported.
President Trump has been neutral regarding the state’s GOP Senate primary, the newspaper noted.
Earlier this month, Republicans accused Democrats of meddling in the Kansas U.S. Senate GOP primary after a Democrat-linked political action committee released a TV ad calling Kobach “too conservative” and Marshall “soft on Trump and weak on immigration.”