Charles Patrick "Pat" Roberts (born April 20, 1936) is the senior United States Senator from Kansas. A member of the Republican Party, he has served since 1997. He is the ranking member of the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture and previously served as the Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Born in Topeka, Kansas, Roberts is a graduate of Kansas State University. He served as a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps and worked as a newspaper reporter before entering politics in the late 1960s. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1980 to succeed 1st District Congressman Keith Sebelius, for whom he had worked. He served eight terms in the House, including one as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. Roberts was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996, and is currently serving his third term. He has a conservative voting record. On the Intelligence Committee he was responsible for an investigation into the intelligence failures prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He led the creation of the Pat Roberts Intelligence Scholars Program in 2004.
Pat Roberts was born in Topeka, Kansas, to Ruth B. Patrick and C. Wesley Roberts. Oskaloosa Independent, which claims to be the second-oldest newspaper in Kansas. Roberts graduated in 1954 from high school in Holton, Kansas. He went on to earn a B.A. in Journalism from Kansas State University in 1958, where he became a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. From 1958 to 1962, he served as a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps. Roberts was a reporter and editor for several Arizona newspapers before joining the staff of Republican Kansas Senator Frank Carlson in 1967. In 1969, he became administrative assistant to Kansas's 1st District Congressman Keith Sebelius. Roberts married Franki Fann in 1969. The couple has three adult children: David, Ashleigh, and Anne-Wesley.
His father served for four months as Chairman of the Republican National Committee under Dwight D. Eisenhower. Roberts's great-grandfather, J.W. Roberts, was the founder of the
After Keith Sebelius announced his retirement, Roberts easily won the Republican primary, which was tantamount to election in the heavily Republican 1st District. He was reelected seven times without serious difficulty, never receiving less than 60 percent of the vote; in 1988, he ran unopposed. Roberts served as the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee from 1995 to 1997.
U.S. House of Representatives (1981–1997)
Following the retirement of Senator Nancy Kassebaum, Roberts easily won the Republican primary. In the general election, he defeated Democratic State Treasurer Sally Thompson with 62 percent of the vote, almost certainly helped by the presence of Bob Dole atop the ticket as the Republican presidential candidate. No Democratic candidate opposed Roberts in 2002, allowing him to win re-election to a second term with 82.5% of the vote. Roberts won a third term in 2008, taking 60% of the vote against former Congressman Jim Slattery.
U.S. Senator (1997–present)
Although Roberts is the dean of the Kansas congressional delegation, he is the state's junior Senator, since Sam Brownback was sworn in on the night of the election in 1996 for the balance of Dole's Senate term. Roberts is to become Kansas's senior senator in the 112th Congress, as Brownback is retiring from the Senate to run for Governor. Roberts was a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, chairing the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. This subcommittee oversaw the military's work in the area of homeland security and the efforts to prevent proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. As of August 31, 2009, Roberts has an approval rating of 58%, with 34% disapproving.
August 6th, 2011