Jake Bequette, an Army veteran and former standout Razorback defensive lineman who played in the NFL, announced Monday (July 12) that he will challenge U.S. Senator John Boozman, R-Ark., in the GOP primary.
Bequette, 32, made his announcement on Fox and Friends Monday morning and through a subsequent press release and announcement video. Couching himself as a “conservative outsider” running against “career politicians,” Bequette outlined some of his strong positions.
“Arkansas deserves a difference-maker in the U.S. Senate who will stand up for Arkansas families and push the conservative change we need,” said Bequette.
“Now more than ever we have to stand up and fight for what we believe,” he added. “I’m a God-fearing Christian conservative who is 100% pro-life, and pro-police, and I will never apologize for being against illegal immigration. Like you, I’m sick and tired of the media lying, China getting away with murder, and politicians who only stand up for President Trump when they stand to benefit.”
Born and raised in Little Rock, Bequette is a third-generation Razorback football player. During his time at the University of Arkansas, he was an All-SEC defensive end and an Academic All-American. He was then drafted by the New England Patriots and was a part of the Super Bowl XLIX championship team.
After his NFL career ended, Bequette joined the United States Army. Upon graduating from U.S. Army Ranger School, he deployed to Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division. In the last year, he launched The Arkansas Fund, a nonprofit organization that raised over $125,000 to help 37 small businesses affected by the pandemic.
Bequette is the latest Republican to announce he will challenge Boozman in the 2022 election. Other candidates who have said they will challenge Boozman for the GOP nomination include Michael Deel, Heath Loftis and Jan Morgan. Democrats who have announced for the Senate seat include Natalie James, Jack Foster, and Dan Whitfield. Boozman, who has held the U.S. Senate seat since 2010, has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.
In a recent Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College survey, Boozman had a job approval rating of 30%, while 38.5% disapproved and 31.5% had no opinion.