Former Razorback football standout Jake Bequette announced via Twitter Monday morning that he will indeed challenge incumbent U.S. Sen. John Boozman in the 2022 Republican primary.
On Twitter, Bequette wrote, “I have lived my life with service and conservative values at the forefront. Now, I have a calling to do more. That is why I am running for the United States Senate.”
In a video, Bequette described himself as a “God-fearing Christian conservative who is 100 percent pro-life and pro-police.” He criticized politicians who “only stand up for President Trump when they stand to benefit.”
Bequette becomes the third Republican to challenge Boozman, joining Jan Morgan, co-owner of Gun Cave Indoor Firing Range outside Hot Springs, and Heath Loftis, a pastor and former U.S. Marine. Candidates announced for the Democratic primary are former Pine Bluff city alderman Jack Foster, Little Rock Realtor Natalie James and Bella Vista activist Dan Whitfield.
Bequette is a Little Rock native and graduate of Catholic High School. He played defensive end for the Hogs from 2008 to 2011, earning first-team all-SEC and academic all-America honors his senior year. He was also named defensive MVP of the 2012 Cotton Bowl. He played professionally for the New England Patriots for four seasons and joined the U.S. Army in 2015, graduating from Ranger school and deploying to Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division.
Boozman, a former Rogers optometrist who also played football for the Hogs in 1971-72, is seeking his third term in the Senate. He is the ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Boozman represented the Third District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2001 to 2011.