John Boozman (US Senator, AR, Republican)

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John Nichols Boozman (/ˈboʊzmən/; born December 10, 1950) is an American politician serving as the senior United States senator from Arkansas, a seat that he was first elected to in 2010. A member of the Republican Party, he previously was the U.S. Representative for Arkansas’s 3rd congressional district from 2001 to 2011.

Boozman was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, where his father was stationed with the U.S. Air Force, but the family eventually returned to Fort Smith, Arkansas, where he was raised. He is the brother of the late State Senator Fay Boozman. He attended the University of Arkansas, where he played football for the Arkansas Razorbacks, and graduated from the Southern College of Optometry. He co-founded a private optometry clinic in 1977 and worked as a volunteer optometrist for low-income families. He won a special election in 2001 to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served as assistant majority whip and sat on the Republican Policy Committee. He was an advocate for drug policy issues and chaired the Veteran Affairs Economic Opportunity Subcommittee, where he led the passage of bills expanding services for unemployed veterans.

Boozman was elected to the United States Senate in 2010, defeating Democratic incumbent Blanche Lincoln by a 21-point margin and becoming the first Republican to be elected to the seat since Reconstruction. He took office in January 2011 and is the ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management and Trade and the Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies. He is also a senior member of the United States Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Boozman became the senior Senator from Arkansas in 2015 when Mark Pryor left the Senate after his defeat. Boozman was re-elected in 2016.

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