Recovering from surgery, Boozman gets outpouring of bipartisan support


WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Boozman received an outpouring of prayers and well wishes from Republicans and Democrats in and out of Arkansas on Tuesday after undergoing heart surgery at a hospital in Rogers.

Boozman, 63, was taken to Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas overnight after suffering from pain in his chest and arm. Doctors there performed heart surgery Tuesday morning.

“Doctors say he responded well to the surgery and are monitoring his recovery. Boozman’s family has visited with him and are hopeful for a full recovery,” said a statement from his Senate office. “The family is appreciative of the thoughts and prayers from well-wishers.”

With the Senate in recess, Boozman had a packed schedule of events in Arkansas this week. He had events scheduled Tuesday in Gravette, Green Forest and Harrison. On Wednesday and Thursday, he was expected at events in Mountain Home, Yellville, Deer, Huntsville, Fayetteville, Harrison and Rogers.

Democrats and Republicans turned to social media to express their support for Boozman soon after the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal first reported on Tuesday that he was undergoing surgery.

Fort Smith Mayor Sandy Sanders and Fort Smith administrator Ray Gosack sent “prayers” for the Boozman family and medical team via Twitter.

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, also expressed hope for a “full and rapid recovery” on Twitter. Candace Martin, executive director of the Democratic Party of Arkansas, also extended her “prayers” for Boozman and his doctors via Twitter.

Boozman is a graduate of Fort Smith’s Northside High School and has been a U.S. senator since 2011. Before that, he served five terms in the U.S. House.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., issued a statement saying he was glad to hear that Boozman was doing well after the surgery.

“We all look forward to having him back at work. He is a fantastic senator and a tireless advocate for Arkansas and the people he so proudly represents,” McConnell said.

Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Deb Fischer, R-Neb., and Dan Coats, R-Ind., also posted messages of support. So too did the entire Arkansas delegation.

“Today, I lift up his wife, Cathy, his three daughters, and their family and friends in prayer,” said Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., in a statement.

“I am grateful John is receiving care from some of Arkansas’s finest doctors and pray that he will make a quick, full recovery so that he can get back to doing what he loves and does so well — serving the people of Arkansas,” said Rep. Steve Womack, R-Rogers.

“My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family,” said Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Dardanelle, on his website.

Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, took to Twitter to ask his followers to pray for “my friend and senator.”

“John is a dear friend, and I wish him a speedy recovery,” said Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Little Rock.