Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 2010, 1st term.

Born: December 10, 1950, Shreveport, LA

Home: Rogers, AR

Education: U. of AR, 1969-72; Southern Col. of Optometry, O.D. 1977

Professional Career: Optometrist, Boozman-Hof Regional Eye Clinic, 1977-2001.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Baptist

Family: Married (Cathy Marley) , 3 children ; 2 grandchildren

Republican John Boozman is Arkansas’ senior senator, having ousted two-term Democrat Blanche Lincoln in 2010 by one of the largest majorities of any Senate challenger over a defeated incumbent. An amiable conservative, he has continued the pattern he began in the House of working comfortably across the aisle.

Boozman (BOZ-man) was born in Shreveport, La., but grew up in Fort Smith, Ark., the state’s second-largest city. He credits his upbringing—his father was Air Force Master Sgt. Fay Boozman, Jr.—for his appreciation of the issues that military families face. Boozman graduated from Northside High School in Fort Smith and attended the University of Arkansas, where he played football. He left college after completing his pre-optometry requirements and went on to graduate from the Southern College of Optometry in 1977.

He opened the Boozman Eye Clinic in Rogers, Ark., with his brother, Fay Boozman, an ophthalmologist. The brothers merged with another eye clinic in 1981 to form the Boozman-Hof Regional Eye Clinic. Boozman also established a low-vision program for the Arkansas School for the Blind. His first public office was a seat on the Rogers Board of Education in 1994. He served until 2001, when he won a November special election to succeed Republican Rep. Asa Hutchinson, who vacated the seat to head the Drug Enforcement Administration. His arrival in Congress marked his first trip to Washington, D.C.

Boozman was easily reelected every two years in the reliably conservative 3rd District, which contains Bentonville, the home of Wal-Mart Stores’ corporate headquarters. He compiled a conservative voting record, opposing a bill to impose caps on carbon emissions, the Obama administration’s $787 billion economic stimulus bill, and the health care overhaul. He broke with his party by favoring the end of the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba. During the Bush administration, Boozman voted in favor of the 2008 bill rescuing the U.S. financial system, a vote that tea party supporters used in other Republican primaries to blast incumbents. Previously, he opposed President George W. Bush’s attempt at comprehensive immigration legislation, which included a pathway to legal residency for illegal immigrants.

Boozman entered the 2010 Senate race in February, forcing Lincoln to run against a Boozman for the second time. Fay Boozman, then a state senator, was her opponent when she first ran for the Senate in 1998. Lincoln won that contest, 55% to 42%. Fay, a close friend of then-Gov. Mike Huckabee, went on to become director of the Arkansas Health Department. He was killed in a barn collapse in 2005.

In the primary season, Lincoln got bogged down in a bruising fight with Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, which she barely won. She pressed the importance of her role as chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee for a state reliant on farming. She also tried to distance herself from Obama and the Democratic Party, noting her opposition to the carbon emissions bill and her support for cutting estate tax rates. Halter managed to hold her to 45% of the vote to his 43%, which, because neither one hit 50%, forced the two into a runoff the following month. She won the runoff 52%-48%.

Meanwhile, Boozman topped an eight-candidate GOP primary in June with 53%, avoiding a runoff of his own. Not only was he the best known of the candidates running, he benefited from the fact that his congressional district was home to the largest share of Republican voters in the state. Tea party supporters were unhappy with his vote for the financial sector rescue, but his credibility with that group was bolstered by an endorsement from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a tea party favorite.

In the fall campaign against Boozman, Lincoln again stressed her role as chairwoman of the Agriculture Committee and she criticized Boozman for agreeing to a House GOP moratorium on earmarked spending. Boozman painted Lincoln as insufficiently conservative for Arkansas and frequently mentioned his endorsements from the National Rifle Association and Arkansas Right to Life. He hammered Lincoln for her vote for the health care legislation, which he said he would work to repeal. “I listened to your concerns on ‘Obamacare,’ fought for you in Washington, and voted against this bill,” Boozman said. “But the Senate has let you down. Arkansas did not have a voice in that chamber willing to stand up to” Obama and congressional Democratic leaders. Boozman also slammed Lincoln for voting for Obama’s economic stimulus bill.

Arkansas’ political trends were in Boozman’s favor. The state had voted Republican in the two previous presidential elections, and two open House seats held by retiring Democrats also went Republican in 2010. Boozman maintained a double-digit lead in polls from the outset. To offset Lincoln’s emphasis on her chairmanship, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell promised Boozman a seat on the panel. On Election Day, he prevailed with 58%, winning over independents by nearly 2-to-1, as well as older voters. Lincoln carried only 16 counties to Boozman’s 59, and she won only 10 of the 26 counties in the 1st District, which she once represented. Boozman’s strongest showings were in Crawford County, his home of Benton County, and his boyhood home of Sebastian County. His share of the vote topped 70% in all three.

In the Senate, Boozman’s voting record has been consistently conservative. One of the first bills he introduced in 2011 was a measure requiring parents be notified at least four days before their minor daughter could have an abortion, something he said arose from his background as a parent and school board member. On the Agriculture Committee, he was one of 35 senators to oppose the Senate-passed farm bill in June 2012, arguing that it didn’t do enough to protect Southern farmers, particularly rice and peanut growers. He won approval of an amendment to set aside up to $1 million a year to encourage research into agricultural law.

On the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Boozman worked with Democrats Dick Durbin of Illinois and Chris Coons on Delaware on a bill in 2012 to strengthen opportunities for U.S. investment throughout Africa. He joined several other Republicans in withdrawing his support for legislation aimed at cracking down on the theft of Internet content after critics, including websites such as Google and Wikipedia and their users, said it would give the Justice Department the power to force Internet service providers to block access to sites accused of stealing intellectual property. As a member of the Veterans’ Affairs panel, Boozman got a provision into a veterans’ bill signed into law to give returning soldiers with brain injuries better mental and behavioral health services.

Democrat Mark Pryor and Boozman had worked together when Boozman was still in the House, and they grew closer when Boozman moved to the Senate. “John is very capable,” Pryor told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. “He’s very likable, and I think that’s a good combination around here.” During debate over reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program in June 2012, they led a bipartisan group of senators that successfully argued against a proposal to mandate flood insurance for individuals residing near levees and other flood-control structures. And they joined other Arkansas delegation members in 2012 to lobby the Air Force against a proposal to eliminate A-10 aircraft at the Arkansas Air National Guard’s 188th Fighter Wing based in Fort Smith.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(479) 573-0189

(479) 573-0553

HSOB- Hart Senate Office Building Room 141
Washington, DC 20510-0406

MAIN OFFICE

(479) 636-7036

(479) 573-0553

HSOB- Hart Senate Office Building Room 141
Washington, DC 20510-0406

DISTRICT OFFICE

(479) 573-0189

(479) 573-0553

1401 West Capitol Avenue Suite 155
Little Rock, AR 72201

DISTRICT OFFICE

(501) 372-7153

(501) 372-7163

1401 West Capitol Avenue Plaza F
Little Rock, AR 72201

DISTRICT OFFICE

(479) 573-0189

(479) 573-0553

213 West Monroe Avenue Suite N
Lowell, AR 72745-9451

DISTRICT OFFICE

(479) 725-0400

(479) 725-0408

213 West Monroe Avenue Suite N
Lowell, AR 72745-9451

DISTRICT OFFICE

(479) 573-0189

(479) 573-0553

1120 Garrison Avenue Suite B
Fort Smith, AR 72901

DISTRICT OFFICE

(479) 573-0189

(479) 573-0553

1120 Garrison Avenue Suite 2B
Fort Smith, AR 72901

DISTRICT OFFICE

(870) 424-0129

(870) 424-0141

North Arkansas College Suite 11
Mountain Home, AR 72653

DISTRICT OFFICE

(479) 573-0189

(479) 573-0553

North Arkansas College Suite 11
Mountain Home, AR 72653

DISTRICT OFFICE

(479) 573-0189

(479) 573-0553

106 West Main Street Suite 104
El Dorado, AR 71730

DISTRICT OFFICE

(870) 863-4641

(870) 863-4105

106 West Main Street Suite 104
El Dorado, AR 71730

DISTRICT OFFICE

(479) 573-0189

(479) 573-0553

300 South Church Street Suite 400
Jonesboro, AR 72401-2911

DISTRICT OFFICE

(870) 268-6925

(870) 268-6887

300 South Church Street Suite 400
Jonesboro, AR 72401-2911

DISTRICT OFFICE

(479) 573-0189

(479) 573-0553

620 East 22nd Street Suite 204
Stuttgart, AR 72160

DISTRICT OFFICE

(870) 672-6941

(870) 672-6962

620 East 22nd Street Suite 204
Stuttgart, AR 72160

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(479) 573-0189

(479) 573-0553

PO Box 671
Rogers, AR 72757

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(479) 636-7036

PO Box 671
Rogers, AR 72757

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Staff

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Abortion

Jennifer Humphrey
Legislative Assistant

Ryan Losak
Legislative Correspondent

Acquisitions

Blake Rollins
Legislative Assistant

Philip Moore
Policy Director

Aerospace

Jimmy Harris
Legislative Correspondent

Agriculture

Blake Rollins
Legislative Assistant

Ron Chastain
Agriculture Liaison

Arian Beckwith
Legislative Aide

Appropriations

Jennifer Humphrey
Legislative Assistant

Toni-Marie Higgins
Legislative Director

Philip Moore
Policy Director

Chris Farrar
Legislative Aide

Ryan Losak
Legislative Correspondent

Banking

Blake Rollins
Legislative Assistant

Arian Beckwith
Legislative Aide

Budget

Chris Farrar
Legislative Aide

Arian Beckwith
Legislative Aide

Commerce

Toni-Marie Higgins
Legislative Director

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Toni-Marie Higgins
Legislative Director

Crime

Disaster

Heba Abdelaal
Legislative Aide

Economics

Philip Moore
Policy Director

Education

Jennifer Humphrey
Legislative Assistant

Ryan Losak
Legislative Correspondent

Energy

Philip Moore
Policy Director

Jimmy Harris
Legislative Correspondent

Environment

Philip Moore
Policy Director

Jimmy Harris
Legislative Correspondent

Finance

Arian Beckwith
Legislative Aide

Foreign

Toni-Marie Higgins
Legislative Director

Chris Farrar
Legislative Aide

Govt Ops

Philip Moore
Policy Director

Heba Abdelaal
Legislative Aide

Gun Issues

Health

Jennifer Humphrey
Legislative Assistant

Ryan Losak
Legislative Correspondent

Diane Holm
Military Caseworker

Homeland Security

Heba Abdelaal
Legislative Aide

Housing

Blake Rollins
Legislative Assistant

Arian Beckwith
Legislative Aide

Immigration

Heba Abdelaal
Legislative Aide

Becca Ray
Caseworker

Intelligence

Toni-Marie Higgins
Legislative Director

Heba Abdelaal
Legislative Aide

Internet

Toni-Marie Higgins
Legislative Director

Judiciary

Labor

Jennifer Humphrey
Legislative Assistant

Ryan Losak
Legislative Correspondent

Land Use

Philip Moore
Policy Director

Jimmy Harris
Legislative Correspondent

Medicare

Sarah Hartley
Constituent Services Representative

Military

Heba Abdelaal
Legislative Aide

Diane Holm
Military Caseworker

Public Works

Philip Moore
Policy Director

Recreation

Toni-Marie Higgins
Legislative Director

Rural Affairs

Arian Beckwith
Legislative Aide

Science

Toni-Marie Higgins
Legislative Director

Chris Farrar
Legislative Aide

Jimmy Harris
Legislative Correspondent

Seniors

Arian Beckwith
Legislative Aide

Small Business

Arian Beckwith
Legislative Aide

Social Security

Jennifer Humphrey
Legislative Assistant

Ryan Losak
Legislative Correspondent

Sarah Hartley
Constituent Services Representative

Tax

Blake Rollins
Legislative Assistant

Chris Farrar
Legislative Aide

Arian Beckwith
Legislative Aide

Technology

Toni-Marie Higgins
Legislative Director

Telecommunications

Jennifer Humphrey
Legislative Assistant

Ryan Losak
Legislative Correspondent

Trade

Blake Rollins
Legislative Assistant

Toni-Marie Higgins
Legislative Director

Chris Farrar
Legislative Aide

Arian Beckwith
Legislative Aide

Transportation

Philip Moore
Policy Director

Jimmy Harris
Legislative Correspondent

Veterans

Heba Abdelaal
Legislative Aide

Anita Deason
Senior Veterans Advisor

Becca Ray
Caseworker

Diane Holm
Military Caseworker

Welfare

Blake Rollins
Legislative Assistant

Arian Beckwith
Legislative Aide

Women

Jennifer Humphrey
Legislative Assistant

Ryan Losak
Legislative Correspondent

Election Results

2010 GENERAL
John Boozman
Votes: 451,618
Percent: 57.9%
Blanche Lincoln
Votes: 288,156
Percent: 36.95%
2010 PRIMARY
John Boozman
Votes: 75,010
Percent: 52.73%
Jim Holt
Votes: 24,826
Percent: 17.45%
Gilbert Baker
Votes: 16,540
Percent: 11.63%
Conrad Reynolds
Votes: 7,128
Percent: 5.01%
2008 GENERAL
John Boozman
Votes: 215,196
Percent: 78.53%
Abel Tomlinson
Votes: 58,850
Percent: 21.47%
2008 PRIMARY
John Boozman
Unopposed
Prior Winning Percentages
House: 2008 (79%); 2006 (62%); 2004 (59%); 2002 (99%); 2001 special (56%)

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