Interview

EXCLUSIVE: Former NFL Player Jake Bequette Announces Run For U.S. Senate In Arkansas

   DailyWire.com
LITTLE ROCK, AR - SEPTEMBER 10: Jake Bequette #91 of the Arkansas Razorbacks warms up before a game against the New Mexico Lobos at War Memorial Stadium on September 10, 2011 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The Razorbacks beat the Lobos 52-3.(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Jake Bequette’s service to his country began when he left his life as a professional football player and joined the 101st Airborne Division. He served in the military for three and a half years, but his service to his country, he says, is just beginning. 

“Today, I am announcing a run for the U.S. Senate in Arkansas,” Bequette said in an interview with The Daily Wire. “I’m born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. I’m a third generation Arkansas Razorback. I come from a football family. My grandfather, father, and uncle all played football at the University of Arkansas, and it was a lifelong dream of mine to play football for the Hogs and wear that Razorback on my helmet. And I was very blessed to be able to do so as a team captain and be on some great Razorback football teams.”

Bequette, a Republican, will challenge current Arkansas Senator John Boozman (R-AR), who will be running for his third term in office. The general election is set for November 8, 2022.

After retiring from the military, Bequette launched a relief fund — The Arkansas Fund — aimed at helping struggling businesses in the state of Arkansas, but he feels there is still more he can do.

“I see this run as the continuation of the oath that I took to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” Bequette said. “Just seeing the violence in our streets, the suppression of our economy, everything that’s happening coming out of Washington that’s permeated into every institution in American life. We need bold, dynamic difference makers in Washington who are going to actually stand up and fight for the conservative values that Arkansans’ and millions of Americans truly care about. That’s why I’m running.” 

Bequette’s journey into politics has not been traditional. After a stellar career at Arkansas, and four years with the New England Patriots in the NFL, Bequette felt the pull of military service.

“It was in my last couple of years in New England that I really started to feel the call to serve my country in uniform,” Bequette said. “And that’s exactly what I did when my NFL career was over. I enlisted in the army and commissioned as an infantry Lieutenant, volunteered and graduated from the U.S. Army Ranger School and deployed to Iraq with the 101st Airborne division.” 

“Serving in Iraq with the 101st Airborne was the greatest honor of my life, wearing that flag on my shoulder and representing the legacy of one of the greatest units in the entire army, and to represent my country was truly an honor.”

When he returned from Iraq, the America he came back to was not the America he’d left behind.

“When I came back from Iraq and observed what was happening in this country over the last year to 18 months, I realized that my service wasn’t finished.” 

“I came back from Iraq and I saw street violence on a scale that was more reminiscent of a Middle Eastern country than our home,” Bequette said. “That made me extremely angry. We saw small businesses — not just in Arkansas but nationwide — who were absolutely crushed through no fault of their own. They were told they could not conduct business. They were told they were non-essential. The government shut them down and suppressed them. I saw firsthand through my work with The Arkansas Fund — a nonprofit small business relief that I started — the economic devastation that was wrought and the consequences of that we’re still grappling with.”

It’s a turbulent time in America. With leaders in Washington consistently pushing a message that many feel is anti-American, Bequette has seen enough. 

“First and foremost, I’m running because Washington is failing America,” Bequette said. “Part of the problem is you have the radical socialist leadership of Democrats under President Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and ‘The Squad.’ But also part of the problem is career politicians in the Republican party who simply refuse to stand up and fight for what’s right. If you’re going to be a leader in the Republican party, if you’re going to lead the conservative movement these days, you have to be someone who’s willing to stand up, lead from the front, move the needle, and be a difference maker on key issues.”

As Washington continues to lean further to the Left, Bequette says America is in a crucial time, and he intends to lend a hand in assisting the country he loves.

“America is at a crossroads. The Democrats in Washington have never been more radical than they are today. They want to institute insane policies like defund the police, like ‘The Green New Deal,’” Bequette continued. “They want to push ideologies that are anti-American like critical race theory. We have a legitimate crisis at our southern border that’s been unaddressed by generations of career politicians in both parties.”

“I see this run as the continuation of my service. I love this country,” Bequette said. “I think there are millions of Arkansans and people around the country who are just saying ‘enough is enough.’ They’re sick of the insanity. And they’re looking for anyone who is willing to stand up and fight and be unafraid, be unapologetically pro-American, conservative and fight for the traditional values that made this country. Those are the values that I believe in. I believe that millions of our Arkansans share those values, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Bequette sees his untraditional route into politics as an advantage. He’s not a career politician, and he believes his story — his life as an Arkansan — will resonate with the people of his home state.

“I don’t come from that world [politics]. I come from the world of the Arkansas voter, the Arkansas conservative,” Bequette told The Daily Wire. “I speak their language. I share their values. I’m not a career politician. I’m an athlete, I’m a soldier, I’m a leader. And that’s what I intend to do in Washington is to lead.”

“I’ve been a leader my entire life. I was a two-time team captain of my football team at the University of Arkansas, and I was the platoon leader with the 101st Airborne Division. And we need bold leaders. We need people who are going to stand up and fight on those crucial issues that we just discussed. And the career political class in Washington is just not getting it done. And we have too many establishment career politicians in both parties who have been up there for multiple decades.” 

For Bequette, the fight may have been overseas in years’ past, but it’s on American soil now. It’s a fight he’s willing to enter. 

“It’s going to take years in some cases for these small businessmen and women to rebuild their livelihood. Those are the kinds of people in this country who we should be protecting, not suppressing, not crushing,” Bequette said. “I decided to join the army because I wanted to be in the fight. I wanted to be where the fight was. And I think it’s clear now that the fight is not on a distant battlefield, the fight is right here. It’s political and we need leaders who are willing to stand up and speak the truth.” 

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