Local Republicans react to Roberts retirement

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Republicans in Wichita are not surprised to hear U.S. Senator Pat Roberts will not seek re-election in 2020.

The long-time senator from Kansas made the announcement this morning.

"He's one of the wittiest public servants up in Washington, D.C., one of the kindest individuals. I think a perfect example of Kansas leadership, up in our nation's capital," said Dalton Glasscock, chairman of the Sedgwick County Republican Party.

Glasscock was once an intern for Roberts and recalls a selfie he took at a parade.

"At first he asked, "What is a selfie?" We took one. I explained afterward," said Glasscock. "He's such a relatable person. Things that he doesn't know he's not afraid to ask."

Colleagues like U.S. Senator Jerry Moran said the last Farm Bill is one of Roberts many accomplishments in Congress for the last 38 years.

"He's been in leadership positions for a long time, making a difference in Washington, D.C. This is an opportunity for all of us now to step up and do our jobs better, and to do more," said Moran.

Among the others reactions to the announcement is the added speculation on who will try to run for the seat in 2020.

"You can guarantee that people have been thinking about it for a long time, about planning to take Pat's seat. I know there's a lot of candidates that are floating their names around. That's businessman Wink Hartman, Governor Jeff Colyer, Secretary Kobach. It's going to be a packed house," said Glasscock.