Former Arkansas defensive end Jake Bequette announced he is running for the United States Senate in a video posted to Twitter Monday morning. Bequette, who played for the Razorbacks between 2007 and 2011, will challenge two-term Sen. John Boozman for the Republican nomination in 2022.
“As an Army veteran, former NFL player, and Arkansas Razorback, I have lived my life with service and conservative values at the forefront,” Bequette wrote in a tweet. “Now, I have a calling to do more. That is why I am running for the United States Senate.”
Bequette, a Little Rock native, stood out during his four years in Fayetteville. He earned second-team All-Southeastern Conference honors as a junior, and moved up to the first team as a senior. After earning Cotton Bowl Defensive MVP in 2012, he became a third-round draft pick for the New England Patriots, with whom he won Super Bowl XLIX.
After his four-year NFL career, Bequette joined the Army, traveling to Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division.
Bequette made local headlines earlier this year when he launched The Arkansas Fund to help Arkansan small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Other Republican challengers include Heath Loftis, a Stuttgart-based pastor, and Hot Springs gun range owner Jan Morgan, who lost the 2018 gubernatorial primary to Gov. Asa Hutchinson. The primary election is set for June 21, 2022.
Boozman has held his Senate seat since 2011, and has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, 2022 gubernatorial candidate Sarah Huckabee Sanders and fellow Sen. Tom Cotton.
“Maybe they’ll say it’s not my turn,” Bequette said in the video. “But here’s what I say: just see if you can block me.”