News and Tribune

Election 2010

November 2, 2010

A look at the newest faces in the Senate

ARKANSAS: JOHN BOOZMAN, REPUBLICAN

A former offensive tackle for the Arkansas Razorbacks, Boozman is an optometrist in Rogers, Ark., and a former cattle rancher and school board member. His brother, the late Dr. Fay Boozman, ran unsuccessfully against Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln in 1998.

Boozman was elected to the House in 2001 in a special election to fill seat of Republican Rep. Asa Hutchinson, who resigned to become head of the Drug Enforcement Administration. He finished Hutchinson's term representing the northwest Arkansas district and won re-election four times.

He is the only Republican member of Arkansas' congressional delegation and has been a GOP loyalist. He regularly sided with President George W. Bush's administration.

Boozman, 59, won the Republican primary in May, defeating seven rivals despite criticism over his vote in favor of the $700 billion bank bailout. He says the relief package was needed to avoid a financial meltdown. He opposed the health care law and vows to try to repeal it.

He and his wife, Cathy, have three daughters.

DELAWARE: CHRIS COONS, DEMOCRAT

He has been chief executive of Delaware's largest county since 2004, having previously served four years as county council president.

Coons was born in Greenwich, Conn., and moved to Delaware as a child. After his parents divorced, his mother married into the family that founded and runs the privately held W.L. Gore & Associates, maker of Gore-Tex fabrics and other products. Before becoming county executive, he was a lawyer for Gore.

He became a Democrat in college following a trip to Africa that caused him to question his Republican beliefs. He wrote of the experience in a college newspaper column, which political opponents seized upon this year because of its title: "Chris Coons: The Making of a Bearded Marxist."

Coons, 47, is married and has three children. He hold degrees in political science and chemistry from Amherst College and graduate degrees in religion and law from Yale University.

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