Fay Boozman

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Fay Winford Boozman, III


Arkansas State Senator for
District 33 (Benton County)​
In office
1995​ – 1998​
Preceded by Reid Holliman​
Succeeded by Dave Bisbee​

Born November 10, 1946​
Place of birth missing

Reared in Fort Smith
Arkansas, USA

Died March 1, 2005 (aged 58)​
Rogers, Benton County, Arkansas​
Political party Republican nominee for United States Senate, 1998​
Spouse(s) Josephine Victoria "Vicky" Boozman​
Children Three children​

Parents:
Mr. and Mrs. Fay Winford Boozman, Jr.​
Relations:
U.S. Senator John Boozman​ (brother)

Alma mater University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences​
Occupation Ophthalmologist​
Religion Baptist
Notes:
  • Former Arkansas state Senator]Boozman's career as the Arkansas Health Department director was cut short by a tragic accident on his family farm near Rogers in Benton County.

Fay Winford Boozman, III (November 10, 1946 – March 19, 2005), was an opthalmologist and Republican politician from Rogers, Arkansas. He was a close friend of former Governor Mike Huckabee and a brother of U.S. Senator John Boozman.​

Political life

At the time of his death at the age of fifty-eight as a result of a freak accident, Dr. Boozman (pronounced BOZE MAN)[1] was the director of the Arkansas Health Department. He had first become​ involved in politics while working in Mike Huckabee's 1993 special election campaign for Arkansas lieutenant governor. As health department director, Boozman was the front man for Huckabee's Healthy Arkansas initiatives and earned national attention for his commitment to reducing obesity.[2]

From 1995 to 1998, Boozman was a member of the Arkansas State Senate for Benton County in the far northwestern part of the state. He succeeded the Democrat Reid Holliman, a supporter of former U.S. Senator Dale Bumpers and U.S. President Bill Clinton. In 1998, rather than running for a second term for the state Senate, Boozman was the unsuccessful Republican nominee against Democrat Blanche Lincoln. The results gave Lincoln 385,878 votes (55.1 percent) to Boozman's 295,870 (42.2 percent).[3] In 2010, Boozman's brother, John, defeated Lincoln for the same Senate seat that he had unsuccessfully sought.​

During the campaign against Lincoln, Boozman came under criticism when he claimed that victims of rape were rarely impregnated as a result of the crime due to hormanal protection that results from a "true" rape, at the time an opinion that he had in common with 2012 Missouri Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, Todd Akin, for whom presidential nominee Mitt Romney drove out of politics. Boozman later apologized for the statement, saying that it was "not statistically based."[2] Boozman, who was strongly pro-life, saw his role as director of the health department as that of a "Christian" and a "servant." Those who worked with him found him "caring, sensitive, a family man [with] a servant's heart, nice, compassionate, principled, and moral."[1] Dr. Boozman was also a former medical advisor to a crisis pregnancy center.

A Republican, Dave Bisbee, was elected to succeed Boozman in the state Senate. The seat was held until 2013 by Kim Hendren, another Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate nomination and a brother-in-law of former U.S. Senator Tim Hutchinson and former U.S. Representative Asa Hutchinson, who since 2015 has been the governor.​ ​

Previous injury

After an automobile accident in 1996, Boozman suffered serious injuries, including a bruised heart, broken ribs, kidney problems, a collapsed lung, and a broken hip that left him using a walker. He was a passenger in the vehicle driven by Timothy Chad Hutchinson,[2] later a state representative and a son of then-Congressman Tim Hutchinson. Timothy Hutchinson's twin brother, Jeremy Hutchinson, and their mother, Donna Hutchinson, who is divorced from Tim Hutchinson, have also served in the Arkansas House.

Asa Hutchinson, Timothy Hutchinson's uncle, said that Dr. Boozman rendered aid to the victims of the accident despite his serious injuries. "I've never known a more tender-hearted human being. His life was an encouragement to everyone who came in contact with him every day, and losing him is just devastating."[2]​ ​

Death

Boozman died near Rogers when a barn which he had used for various farm chores collapsed. In addition to his brother, he was survived by his wife, Josephine Victoria "Vicky" Boozman (born 1946), their three children, and his mother, the former Marie Nichols, who lives in Fort Smith in Sebastian County, Arkansas, where John Boozman was born and both brothers were reared.[2] His father was Fay Winford Boozman, Jr. (1923–1991), whose last residence was in Rogers. It is unclear where Boozman was born, but his younger brother was born in Fort Smith, and Fay Boozman was reared in Fort Smith.​

Governor Huckabee released this statement on Boozman's death: "[He] was not only one of my most trusted team members, but he was a close personal friend and Christian brother. One of my happiest days as governor was when he became director of the Department of Health. His death will mark the very saddest day. . . . . Many of us lose a dear personal friend, but our entire state loses one of our finest ever and most pure-hearted public servants who loved others more than self and was incapable of anything other than statesmanship and kindness."[2]

Bob Alvey, a health department spokesman, referred to the "tragic loss" of Dr. Boozman: "Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who knew him and knew how great a person he was." Then Mayor Steve Womack, a Boozman family friend who in 2011 became U.S. Representative for Arkansas' 3rd congressional candidate to succeed John Boozman, told The Rogers Morning News that Boozman was moving from his Rogers residence to another home, also in Rogers. Emergency personnel responded to the farm and found that Boozman had been crushed by a large gate.[2]

Legacy

The Arkansas Physicians Resource Council offers the annual Fay Boozman Award to physicians who practice their Christian faith in family practice and community affairs.[4] The College of Public Health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock was renamed in Boozman's honor. Boozman was a UAMS alumnus.[5]

Vickie Boozman, a resident of Cave Springs in Benton County, was an Arkansas alternate delegate to the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota.[6] Earlier in 2008, she lost a primary bid for the District 99 in the Arkansas House to fellow Republican Tim Summers of Bentonville.[7] In 2010, she was a surrogate speaker for her brother-in-law, John Boozman, in his successful U.S. Senate campaign.[8] John Boozman unseated Blanche Lincoln in the Senate election of 2010.​

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Dr. Fay Boozman obituary. entrepreneur.com (March 28, 2005). Retrieved on May 11, 2010; no longer on-line.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 David Hammer, "Health Department director Fay Boozman dies in accident on Rogers farm," The Rogers Morning Times, March 20, 2005.
  3. State of Arkansas. Secretary of State, 1998 general election returns.
  4. Fay Boozman Award: Honoring Doctors and Remembering the Life and Legacy of Dr. Fay Boozman. Fayboozmanaward.com. Retrieved on October 22, 2019.
  5. Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health. uams.edu. Retrieved on October 22, 2019.
  6. Female politicians in Arkansas (A-C). politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved on May 11, 2010.
  7. Tim Summers, R-99. arkansashouse.org. Retrieved on May 11, 2010; no longer on-line.
  8. Republican Candidates Voice Out at Senate Forum. 4029tv.com (March 12, 2010). Retrieved on May 11, 2010; no longer on-line.

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