Jake Bequette is a political outsider. But that hasn’t stopped the ex-NFL player and U.S. Army veteran from launching a bid for the Arkansas Senate seat currently held by Sen. John Boozman. (R-Ark).
Bequette, an outspoken Christian, told Faithwire he’s following God’s call to run for office and that faith is the foundation for everything in his life, including his decision to enter the political arena.
“Nothing is more important in my life than my faith,” he said. “I was very blessed to be raised in a two-parent home where I was raised to fear the Lord and … there’s no greater blessing that a young person can have.”
The Problem Bequette Sees in Washington
The senatorial hopeful believes America has drifted off course, and he’s hoping to assist in setting things right in Washington by helping guide the nation back to its roots.
“I think people around the country, they’re craving a return to the faith-based values this country was founded upon,” Bequette said. “Our founders spoke about it, they wrote about it extensively, they fought over it and I think … people of faith and even people who, you know, might have lapsed faith or people who have gotten away from the churches … they still feel that longing.”
Watch Bequette discuss his faith, military service, and NFL career:
The candidate said he wants to see more leaders in Washington who are bold and “unafraid to stand up and speak the truth” and to defend the Christian values on which he believes America was founded.
Bequette was candid when asked about the struggle to maintain authentic Christian ideals while simultaneously diving into the political arena. He noted that it’s essential to have a “firm foundation in the faith.”
“You’ve got to be standing on the rock because you know you’re going to be attacked,” he said. “I feel called to be in this race. … Part of being in this race … is being obedient to God’s calling and God’s plan for my life.”
His NFL and US Army Careers
Bequette has followed various paths throughout his life, heading at one point to the NFL, then the military, and, pending what primary and general election voters say later this year, to U.S. Congress.
NFL fans might know that Bequette was a defensive end with the New England Patriots after being drafted in 2012. It was a career he “never dreamed” would happen in a million years. Though he had achieved his dream of playing college football with the Arkansas Razorbacks, he had no idea he’d be able to play professionally for the NFL.
But Bequette ended up with the Patriots and learned valuable lessons along the way — ideals he later relied on while serving in the U.S. Army.
“I carried those lessons with me into my military career as a platoon leader,” he said. “And now into the Senate campaign.”
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Bequette told Faithwire he felt “called” to join the Army after leaving the NFL. And that calling came with sacrifice; he was deployed to Iraq with the 101st Airborne and called his military experience an “incredible honor.”
“It meant the world to be a part of that,” he said. “And then being in Iraq … that deployment really opened my eyes. You know, it doesn’t take long, being on the ground in a country like that, to understand the true nature of evil.”
Bequette described seeing violence, poverty, despair, and the havoc wreaked by ISIS. He also reflected, in light of that experience, on the frustration he endured watching the Biden administration’s chaotic pullout from Afghanistan.
“I was just enraged, as many Americans were, to see those images … to see the just — the complete incompetence coming from Joe Biden and his administration,” he said. “It was just a complete debacle and it was embarrassing.”
The congressional hopeful believes Afghanistan was a “turning point” in public perception for the Biden administration, and warned of the impact it has had among America’s enemies, who may now sense weakness.
“There are no excuses for it,” Bequette said.
‘What Kind of Country Are We Going to Be?’
In looking at all of the issues facing America, Bequette asked a question candidates on both sides of the aisle frequently pose: “What kind of a country are we going to be?”
While there are divergent views on what the final product should represent, Bequette’s concerns center, in part, on his belief that the left is dominating numerous arenas of importance and having what he sees as a negative impact on the nation. Meanwhile, elected Republicans, he argued, haven’t reflected the values many Americans care about.
Plainly stated: Bequette believes Washington is in dire need of transformation.
“We need real conservative warriors — true leaders who can stand up and lead from the front,” he said. “I’m not a career politician. I come from a sports background. I come from a military background and I’m doing this because I believe in this country. I believe … the great state of Arkansas deserves great leaders.”
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