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Governor Laura Kelly Unveils Walk of Honor Plaque Dedicated to Former Senator Pat Roberts

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TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today unveiled the Walk of Honor plaque dedicated to former Senator Pat Roberts. The Walk of Honor is located within the sidewalks surrounding the Kansas State Capitol Visitors Center grounds. It features people who are major figures on a state and national level and have a significant connection to Kansas.

“I’ve known Pat for more than 30 years, and he’s become a close friend,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “During his time in public service, Pat worked in a bipartisan manner, and as a result, delivered enormous victories for veterans, for our Ag industry, and for Kansans in every corner of the state. He has proved time and again that he is more than deserving of this great honor.”

Senator Roberts is a fourth generation Kansan who rose to the rank of captain in the United States Marine Corps. Following his time in the service, he worked as a staffer for U.S. Senator Frank Carlson of Kansas and U.S. Congressman Keith Sebelius.

Roberts was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1980, representing Kansas’ first congressional district, and then was reelected seven times. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996, serving for four terms. He retired in 2021 as the only person to have chaired both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees.

“The Kansas Walk of Honor highlights people who have made significant contributions to state and national history,” Patrick Zollner, Interim Executive Director of the Kansas Historical Society, said. “We are pleased to add Senator Pat Roberts to this list. Our state is fortunate to have a rich history of innovation, leadership, arts, and science.”

Attendees included Roberts’ family, friends, former staff members, and several current and former state legislators.

“Senator Pat Roberts’ many contributions in Congress are a testimony to the hardworking Kansans he represented,” Senator Roger Marshall said. “During his four decades in service, he represented Kansans’ values and rights while championing the priorities of our farmers, ranchers, and producers. His leadership helped create a thriving Kansas ag economy that benefits not only the citizens of our state, that not only helps feed our entire nation, but a hungry world. When future generations of Kansans pass by the Pat Roberts plaque on the grounds of the Kansas Statehouse, they will hear stories about a legendary, dedicated legislator who tirelessly represented their state with fondness, heart, and dignity.”

“No one is more deserving of a plaque on the Kansas Walk of Honor than Senator Pat Roberts. Senator Roberts dedicated his entire life to public service and spent four decades fighting tirelessly in the House and Senate for Kansas farmers, families, and businesses,” Representative Jake Laturner, (KS-02), said. “Pat always put our Kansas values first in Washington, and I’m grateful to have been able to call him my Senator for so many years.”

“Former Senator Pat Roberts was one of the first people to call me when I took office, and he has always been a great source of knowledge and advice for the entire Kansas delegation,” Representative Sharice Davids, (KS-03), said.” He is a dedicated public servant and has certainly earned his place on the Statehouse Walk of Honor.”

“Pat Roberts’ service to our country didn’t begin in the halls of the Capitol, but when he was a young Kansan who answered the call to serve in the United States Marine Corps. His Sunflower State roots gave him the fortitude to take the hill as a Marine and in Congress, no matter the challenge,” Representative Ron Estes, (KS-04), said. “Besides a legacy of excellent representation for farmers and ranchers on the House and then Senate Ag committees, including chairmanship of both, Senator Roberts is probably most recognized for his impeccable wit and amusing stories. He is highly deserving of this honor, and it’s a fitting tribute to place his plaque close to his friend, mentor and fellow veteran, Bob Dole.”

The Kansas Historical Society oversees the Walk of Honor.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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