Stephen Allen "Steve" Womack (born February 18, 1957) is the U.S. Representative for Arkansas's 3rd congressional district. He is a member of the Republican Party. He is the former mayor of Rogers, Arkansas.
Early life, education, and career
Womack was born in Russellville. He spent most of his childhood in Moberly, Missouri; but moved back to Russellville at the age of 16 and graduated from Russellville High School in 1973. He graduated from Arkansas Tech University in 1979.
Shortly afterward, he enlisted in the Arkansas Army National Guard. He served for 30 years, retiring in 2009 as a colonel. Womack's father founded KURM-AM-FM in 1979, and Womack served as station manager from 1979 to 1990. He then served as executive officer of the Army ROTC program at the University of Arkansas from 1990 to 1996, then joined Merrill Lynch as a financial consultant.
Mayor of Rogers
In 1998, Womack was elected mayor of Rogers, the ninth largest city of Arkansas. He ousted 17-year incumbent John Sampier Jr.
A major issue in the city was illegal immigration. The organization Americans for an Immigration Moratorium attacked Sampier for being a pro-immigration liberal. Womack pledged to get tough on illegal immigrants saying "If you're coming to America illegally, you don't want to come to Rogers." The city had a growing Hispanic population, where it made 20% of the population, according to the 2000 Census. A year after the election, the National Council of La Raza awarded Sampier for his courage in helping out Hispanic Americans. In 1999, Womack had two agents of the Immigration and Naturalization Service assigned to the Rogers Police Department. As a result, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) filed a class-action suit against the city policeforce for racial profiling. In 2002 and 2006 Womack won re-election unopposed.
U.S. House of Representatives
In late 2009, Womack jumped into the race for the 3rd District after incumbent Republican John Boozman gave it up to run for the United States Senate. The 3rd is one of the most Republican districts in the South and the nation (Republicans have held it since 1967), and it was generally believed whoever won the Republican primary would be the district's next congressman. He led the crowded seven-way primary with 31 percent of the vote.
In the June runoff, he received 51.75% of the vote to narrowly defeat State Senator and fellow Rogers resident Cecile Bledsoe. In the general election, Womack defeated Democratic nominee David Whitaker, obtaining 72 percent of the vote.
August 30th, 2011