Arkansas Rep. John Boozman (R) made his Senate bid official on Saturday, adding his name to a crowded GOP primary field in the race against Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D).
“The encouragement and outpouring of support Arkansans have shown in the past few weeks as I reevaluated how to best serve the people of the Natural State has been overwhelming,” Boozman said in a statement from his campaign. “After visiting with Arkansans it is clear that we need leadership in the U.S. Senate that represents the interests of our state and its residents.”
Boozman, the lone Republican in the state’s Congressional delegation, said he was concerned that the “Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda” isn’t doing enough to create and protect jobs in Arkansas and across the country.
Boozman’s entry into the Senate contest is already shaking up the GOP field. Businessman Tom Cox announced Friday that he was ending his campaign, and Arkansas papers reported Saturday that Army veteran Buddy Rogers is also withdrawing from the contest.
But Boozman’s biggest competition in the primary is likely going to come from state Sen. Gilbert Baker (R), who had been viewed as the frontrunner for the nomination before the Congressman acknowledged in January that he was considering the race. In a statement Saturday, Baker reiterated that he’s in the race to win it and also sought to paint himself as a Washington outsider.
“Washington isn’t listening to the people, but I hear you loud and clear,” Baker said. “Arkansans are looking for leaders who will be part of the solution, not those who have been part of the problem. I am firmly committed to running for U.S. Senate to put an end to the status quo in our nation’s capitol.”