Ashcroft Roberts

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft walks alongside his new deputy chief of staff Harry Roberts at the Remington Nature Center on Thursday. Roberts was appointed to the position earlier this year.

Harry Roberts has landed a new job in Jefferson City.

The former Buchanan County Presiding Commissioner and GOP State Senate candidate was approached by Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft in April about joining his office.

“Every once in a while you run across an opportunity in life that you just can’t say no to, and I couldn’t say no to him,” Roberts said. “He’s obviously a man of tremendous integrity and someone I believe in.”

While running for senate, Roberts picked up a huge endorsement in his unsuccessful bid over now-Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer: Jay’s father John Ashcroft. The younger Ashcroft echoed his father’s praises for Roberts while discussing his appointment as his new deputy chief of staff.

“The most important thing I can do is find good people of character of intelligence and wisdom who understand they work for the people of the state Missouri, and put them in a position can succeed and serve the people,” said Jay Ashcroft. “That’s what management and leading an agency is like — finding good people and putting them in the position to help the people of Missouri.”

When asked by News-Press NOW how Roberts was handling his first year in the secretary’s office, Ashcroft has nothing but high praise.

“Harry has been great and we are glad to have him,” he said. “We are going to keep moving forward to make things as good as we can for the people of the state.”

While a candidate for state senate, Roberts spent time touring the district with former Missouri governor, U.S. senator and U.S. attorney general John Ashcroft. That included an ice cream social at Civic Center Park where the two scooped out frozen treats for supporters in St. Joseph.

“Harry is the kind of person Missouri needs and America needs to confront the opportunities of our future,” Ashcroft said in an interview last year. “This candidate is the kind of person that I want to be making decisions on behalf of my children and grandchildren in the Missouri Senate.”

Roberts pointed to his career in business and in government as assets that he has brought to the secretary of state’s office, which includes overseeing elections and a litany of other administrative duties.

“It’s truly been a privilege to serve in his office and to serve the people of Missouri,” said Roberts.

Mark Zinn can be reached at mark.zinn@knpn.com.

Follow him on Twitter: @KNPNZinn.