LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Former University of Arkansas and New England Patriots football player Jake Bequette announced he would seek the office of U.S. Senate on Monday.
Bequette played for the Razorbacks from 2007-2011 and then spent four seasons with the New England Patriots who drafted him in 2012 in the third round.
Bequette then joined the Army and graduated from U.S. Army Ranger School. He was deployed to Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division.
He then turned to public service and began by starting The Arkansas Fund, which was a nonprofit he started to support small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He has his sights set for higher office now and believes D.C. needs new blood from Arkansas.
“I’m running because Washington is failing America,” Bequette said.
Bequette is running as a Republican and joins a crowded field with incumbent US Senator John Boozman, who is seeking another term, Jan Morgan, and Heath Loftis have previously announced their intentions to run for the office.
Bequette opposes national Democratic ideologies, but also said that long-standing Republicans have gotten soft on issues.
“But also part of the problem are career politicians in the Republican Party who simply refuse to stand up and fight for what’s right,” Bequette said.
His experiences in football and in the Army are something Bequette said he will lean on.
“I’m an outsider, I’m a soldier, I’m an athlete, I’m a leader and that’s what I intend to do is lead and fight for the conservative values that Arkansans and millions of Americans care about,” he explained.
In a video announcement, he released on social media Bequette said he will defend the Second Amendment, is 100% Pro-Life, and said he wants to be tough on illegal immigration. He said he aligned with former President Donald Trump’s agenda and believes him being an outsider is what many people connected with.
“I’m not a career politician, I don’t come from that world. I believe in service, I believe in standing up and fighting for the values Arkansans and Americans care about. I think that’s what Donald Trump did, he was able to connect and his message resonates with Arkansans,” Bequette said.
Being a former Razorback football player is a shared experience he has with current Senator John Boozman. When asked about that shared history Bequette said that will not be the main focus of his campaign.
“I’m a Razorback, I come from a Razorback family, I’m very proud of my football career but this is about the people of Arkansas. I’m here to fight for them, I’m here to fight for the conservative values that too many career politicians have neglected,” he said.
Democrats that have announced for the office are Natalie James, Jack Foster, and Dan Whitfield
The Arkansas primary is scheduled for May 24, 2022.