An Arkansas political action committee sent a mailer to support incumbent Sen. John Boozman claiming that Jake Bequette, a former player in the National Football League and United States Army officer, had lied about his military service.
We found that the claims in the mailer were strongly misleading and deceitful.
Heartland Resurgence PAC sent out a mailer saying that Bequette had lied about his status as an Army Ranger, and also claimed that he joined the Army two years earlier than he really did. It also called the candidate “Fake Jake Bequette.”
The mailer’s flip side promotes Boozman and boasts his endorsement from former President Donald Trump. It also mentions that Boozman is the “son of an Air Force master sergeant,” “Helping Veterans get good-paying jobs in their post-military career” and a “member of Senate Veteran Affairs Committee.”
We were sent documents by his campaign, including the official award of his Ranger tab.
He graduated from Ranger School in 2018, and this is a photo of him.
And him receiving this tab.
It’s still a controversial question in military circles whether finishing training makes one a Ranger or if they only serve in the 75th Ranger Regiment. However, Alex Hollings explained to Sandboxx 2021 that it is not really significant.
Rangers are the ones who lead the way. I am inclined to follow the example of Murphy and a few other prominent Rangers. Some may view “Tabbed” Rangers as imposters, while others might see “Scrolled” Rangers as the only rightful heirs to the Ranger namesake. However, the debate loses sight of the true meaning of each of these (admittedly distinct) achievements.
Ranger School graduation and the 75th Ranger Regiment enlistment are incredible achievements that every service member should be proud of. All those who work hard to earn a Tab and a Scroll deserve respect. There will be much more to the debate, and both sides will have valid points. But from an outside perspective, it might be better to let the tabs and scrolls-wearing guys and gals slug it out, if they so choose.
The mailer, which is trying to discredit Bequette’s military background, is not a hardline believer as to what makes someone a Ranger.
Bequette stated, “It’s disgusting that Senator Boozman has smeared my military service and it shows how desperate he is to distract from his own record right prior to election day.”
He later stated, “It’s a disgrace to watch a Republican U.S. Senator and his surrogates use similar tactics as the radical left has used to attack conservative veterans.”
Jesse Ranney, a campaign representative, stated that Bequette was lying about his years of service. This was due to a typo in the campaign website, which was corrected a few days later. Ranney claims that the previous digital company that ran the campaign misrepresented the year he joined Army and the year he won Super Bowl.
We reached out to a top donor team to inquire about the mailer. Heartland Resurgence doesn’t have any contact information online. The donor declined to comment.
Boozman’s campaign also received contact via email and phone, but they didn’t respond in time to be published.
This Tuesday, May 24, is the Arkansas Republican primary election. A runoff election will be held if none of the primary candidates reach 50 percent.
KUAR reported that a Talk Business & Politics poll and a Hendrix College poll showed Boozman at 45% in the primary polls. Bequette was at 19%. While 18 percent of voters remain undecided and there are others in the race for the seat, the senator will likely face off against Bequette if he can’t get 50 percent.