John Nichols Boozman (born December 10, 1950) is the junior U.S. Senator for Arkansas (since 2011). A member of the Republican Party, he previously served as the U.S. Representative for Arkansas's 3rd congressional district (2001–2011). Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, he was the brother of 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 2002 to the United States 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 took office in January 2011. He is the ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry and Natural Resources, the Commerce Subcommittee on Science and Space, and the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Green Jobs and the New Economy.
Boozman was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, the son of Marie (née Nichols) and Fay Winford Boozman, Jr. (1923–1991). Boozman's father, whose last address was in Rogers, Arkansas, was a Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force. Little Rock and worked as a volunteer optometrist at an area clinic that provides medical services to low-income families. Prior to his election to Congress, Boozman served two terms on the Rogers Public School Board, which governs one of the largest school districts in Arkansas.
His elder brother Fay (1946–2005) also was a politician. After graduating from Northside High School in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Boozman played football for the Arkansas Razorbacks at the University of Arkansas while completing his pre-optometry requirements without graduating from the University of Arkansas. He graduated from the Southern College of Optometry in 1977 and entered private practice that same year as co-founder of Boozman-Hof Regional Eye Clinic in Rogers, which has become a major provider of eye care to Northwest Arkansas. He established the low vision program at the Arkansas School for the Blind in
U.S. House of Representatives
Boozman was elected to Congress in a special election after his predecessor, Asa Hutchinson, resigned to become the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Boozman was unopposed in 2002, defeated Democratic State Representative Jan Judy by a margin of 59 percent to 38 percent in 2004, and again won re-election in 2006, defeating Democrat Woodrow Anderson III. He was unopposed for reelection in 2008. In the 109th Congress, he served as Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Economic Opportunity Subcommittee, which focuses on ensuring veterans have a smooth transition to civilian life. He has since served continuously as the Ranking Member on this Subcommittee. Boozman has used his seat on the Veterans Affairs Committee to pass critical legislation honoring the service and sacrifice of United States Military Veterans and increasing benefits to them and their families. In the 111th Congress, Boozman has introduced and the House of Representatives has passed the Veterans Retraining Act of 2009, which provides resources and training opportunities for unemployed veterans.The House of Representatives also passed several other Boozman-authored bills, including a bill that creates grants to help disabled veterans adapt their homes and vehicles to meet their unique needs.
Boozman decided to retire from the lower chamber to run for the United States Senate election in Arkansas, 2010 for the seat held by incumbent Democrat Blanche Lambert Lincoln. He won the May 2010 Republican primary. Boozman defeated her in the general election while winning nearly 58% of the vote. John Boozman began his term in the Senate in January 2011.
Boozman lives in Rogers with his wife, the former Cathy Marley, and the couple has three daughters. He has successfully raised Polled Hereford cattle that were competitive in the show ring, as well as in bull testing at Oklahoma State University. The Boozman family was active in the 4-H program.
June 1st, 2011