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

Biography

Elected: 2010, 2nd term.

Born: February 18, 1957, Russellville, AR

Home: Rogers, AR

Education: AR Tech U., B.A. 1979.

Professional Career: Reporter, mgr., KURM Radio, 1979-90; exec. officer, Army ROTC, U. of AR, 1990-96; financial consultant, Merrill Lynch, 1997.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Southern Baptist

Family: Married (Terri Williams) , 3 children ; 2 grandchildren

Republican Steve Womack won the 2010 contest to fill the seat left vacant by GOP Rep. John Boozman, who ran successfully for the Senate. He has since drawn attention for proposing several high-profile bills that have angered Democrats, including one that would have eliminated funding for President Barack Obama’s teleprompter.

Womack was born in Russellville, Ark., and spent a good portion of his childhood in Moberly, Mo., before returning with his family to Russellville in his junior year of high school. His father, a local radio broadcaster, introduced him to popular political figures in the region, including former Sens. Tom Eagleton and Stuart Symington and Gov. Warren Hearnes, all Missouri Democrats. “If I ‘Dr. Phil’ myself about what got me involved in public service, it’s that I always admired political leaders,” Womack said, recalling those visits with his father. After high school, Womack stayed in Russellville to earn his bachelor’s degree at Arkansas Tech University. He and his father subsequently established KURM Radio, which focused on community news, the weather, the county fair, and high school football and Little League baseball games. Womack covered local politics for the station. “I always would second-guess things, and say, ‘Could I do that better?’” he recalled.

In 1990, Womack, by then a member of the Army National Guard, did a stint as executive officer of the Army ROTC program at the University of Arkansas. Later, in 2002, he led a peacekeeping task force of 500 troops in the Sinai Desert in Egypt—a mission established by the peace accords negotiated between Israel and Egypt in 1979. In the late 1990s, he worked briefly as a financial consultant for Merrill Lynch but quit the job when he got the chance to test whether he could “do better” than the local politicians he had covered as a reporter. In 1998, Womack was elected mayor of Rogers, a city in the high-growth Fayetteville metropolitan area. He was reelected twice. As Rogers and Benton County were experiencing significant population growth, Womack accurately anticipated a spike in demand for retail outlets in the area and worked to turn the city into a shopping destination. The city issued bonds to develop infrastructure to attract retail business.

He also had a reputation for tough enforcement of immigration laws. Local Hispanic leaders were incensed when Womack maintained that a majority of crimes in the city were committed by illegal immigrants, which they said was untrue. In 2007, Womack directed city officials to cooperate with raids by federal immigration agents on a Northwest Arkansas Mexican restaurant chain. Four years earlier, Hispanic motorists filed a lawsuit against Rogers and its police department, charging racial profiling. A settlement was reached without an award of damages or an admission of guilt, though Womack formed a committee to build better relations with the immigrant community.

When Boozman gave up his House seat after four terms to challenge Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln, Womack stepped into a crowded field of Republicans interested in the seat. His opponents included former state Sen. Gunner DeLay, a distant cousin of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas; Steve Lowry, an ex-Drug Enforcement Administration agent; and Cecile Bledsoe, a state senator endorsed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former Rep. Asa Hutchinson, R-Ark.

Womack and Bledsoe finished first and second, respectively, setting up a June runoff. The two candidates, who live less than a mile from each other, took to the airwaves in an unneighborly way. Bledsoe tried to portray herself as the true conservative in the race, promising to repeal President Obama’s health care overhaul. Womack touted his record of job creation and attacked Bledsoe for her votes on tax issues, saying that she supported a $100 million tax increase and also a tax on milk when she was in the state legislature. Womack eked out a victory, 52% to 48%.

Once he had prevailed in the primary, the hard work was behind him. Voters in the northwest corner of Arkansas had not elected a Democrat to the House since 1967. Womack easily prevailed in the general election over Democrat David Whitaker, a former assistant city attorney in Fayetteville, 72% to 28%.

In the House, Womack established himself as a firmly conservative vote. He made a pitch for a coveted slot on the Appropriations Committee, telling Republican Chairman Harold Rogers of Kentucky that being a mayor had taught him how to say “no”. He got the seat, then immediately went to work saying “yes” to local interests. He added a provision to a spending bill blocking a rule that would have altered the way that cattle, hog and chicken producers are compensated by meat processors, including Arkansas’ Tyson Foods. With Jackie Speier, D-Calif., he introduced another bill enabling Amazon and other online retailers to collect state sales taxes, something that benefitted regular retailers, such as Arkansas’ Wal-Mart, which already collect state sales taxes online.

Womack stirred up attention when he proposed, but later withdrew, an amendment to an omnibus spending bill in February 2011 to cancel funding for Obama’s teleprompter. He introduced another controversial bill to withhold lawmakers’ pay if a budget deal was not reached. Democrats, and even some Republicans, denounced the idea as unconstitutional, but the House approved it in April 2011 on a 221-202 vote.

He was never considered vulnerable in 2012, but Democrats suffered some embarrassment when Iraq veteran Ken Aden dropped his challenge after it was revealed he had embellished his military resume. Womack faced only Green Party and Libertarian challengers and coasted to reelection with 76% of the vote.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-4301

(202) 225-5713

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1119
Washington, DC 20515-0403

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-4301

(202) 225-5713

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1119
Washington, DC 20515-0403

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-4301

(202) 225-5713

3333 Pinnacle Hills Suite 120
Rogers, AR 72758-8979

DISTRICT OFFICE

(479) 464-0446

(479) 464-0063

3333 Pinnacle Hills Suite 120
Rogers, AR 72758-8979

DISTRICT OFFICE

(479) 424-1146

(479) 424-2737

423 North Sixth Street
Fort Smith, AR 72902-2003

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-4301

(202) 225-5713

423 North Sixth Street
Fort Smith, AR 72902-2003

DISTRICT OFFICE

(870) 741-6900

(870) 741-7741

303 North Main Street Suite 102
Harrison, AR 72601-3508

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-4301

(202) 225-5713

303 North Main Street Suite 102
Harrison, AR 72601-3508

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(202) 225-4301

(202) 225-5713

PO Box 508
Rogers, AR 72757-0508

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

134 North Pleasant Ridge Drive
Rogers, AR 72756-0701

EXPORT CONTACTS » *

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Chelsea Taff
Legislative Correspondent; Legislative Assistant

Aerospace

Chelsea Taff
Legislative Correspondent; Legislative Assistant

Agriculture

Adrielle Churchill
Legislative Director

Appropriations

Chelsea Taff
Legislative Correspondent; Legislative Assistant

Adrielle Churchill
Legislative Director

Ben Cantrell
Legislative Assistant

Budget

Ben Cantrell
Legislative Assistant

Education

Chelsea Taff
Legislative Correspondent; Legislative Assistant

Energy

Ben Cantrell
Legislative Assistant

Environment

Adrielle Churchill
Legislative Director

Finance

Ben Cantrell
Legislative Assistant

Foreign

Chelsea Taff
Legislative Correspondent; Legislative Assistant

Govt Ops

Chelsea Taff
Legislative Correspondent; Legislative Assistant

Adrielle Churchill
Legislative Director

Health

Claire Burghoff
Communications Director; Legislative Assistant

Homeland Security

Chelsea Taff
Legislative Correspondent; Legislative Assistant

Immigration

Chelsea Taff
Legislative Correspondent; Legislative Assistant

Intelligence

Stu Churchill
Military Fellow

Judiciary

Chelsea Taff
Legislative Correspondent; Legislative Assistant

Labor

Chelsea Taff
Legislative Correspondent; Legislative Assistant

Land Use

Ben Cantrell
Legislative Assistant

Medicare

Claire Burghoff
Communications Director; Legislative Assistant

Military

Stu Churchill
Military Fellow

Adrielle Churchill
Legislative Director

Small Business

Chelsea Taff
Legislative Correspondent; Legislative Assistant

Social Security

Ben Cantrell
Legislative Assistant

Tax

Ben Cantrell
Legislative Assistant

Technology

Chelsea Taff
Legislative Correspondent; Legislative Assistant

Telecommunications

Ben Cantrell
Legislative Assistant

Trade

Chelsea Taff
Legislative Correspondent; Legislative Assistant

Transportation

Ben Cantrell
Legislative Assistant

Veterans

Stu Churchill
Military Fellow

Ben Cantrell
Legislative Assistant

Welfare

Ben Cantrell
Legislative Assistant

Election Results

2014 GENERAL
Steve Womack
Votes: 151,093
Percent: 79.42%
Grant Brand
Votes: 39,143
Percent: 20.58%
2012 GENERAL
Steve Womack
Votes: 186,467
Percent: 75.9%
Rebekah Kennedy
Votes: 39,318
Percent: 16.01%
David Pangrac
Votes: 19,875
Percent: 8.09%
2012 PRIMARY
Steve Womack
Unopposed
2010 GENERAL
Steve Womack
Votes: 148,581
Percent: 72.44%
David Whitaker
Votes: 56,542
Percent: 27.56%
2010 RUNOFF
Steve Womack
Votes: 18,334
Percent: 51.77%
Cecile Bledsoe
Votes: 17,080
Percent: 48.23%
2010 PRIMARY
Steve Womack
Votes: 18,334
Percent: 51.77%
Cecile Bledsoe
Votes: 17,080
Percent: 48.23%
2010 PRIMARY
Steve Womack
Votes: 19,414
Percent: 31.18%
Cecile Bledsoe
Votes: 8,253
Percent: 13.25%
Gunner Delay
Votes: 8,088
Percent: 12.99%
Bernie Skoch
Votes: 7,092
Percent: 11.39%
Doug Matayo
Votes: 6,088
Percent: 9.78%
Kurt Maddox
Votes: 6,037
Percent: 9.7%
Mike Moore
Votes: 4,801
Percent: 7.71%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (72%)

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