Bruce Eugene Westerman (born November 18, 1967) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Arkansas’s 4th congressional district. Previously, he served as member and the Majority Leader of the Arkansas House of Representatives.

In 2014, Westerman was elected to the House to succeed Tom Cotton, who defeated U.S. Senator Mark Pryor in the 2014 Senate election.

Background

Westerman was raised in and resides in Hot Springs, Arkansas.[1] He graduated as valedictorian of Fountain Lake High School in Hot Springs. He attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, where he played college football for the Arkansas Razorbacks football team. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in engineering in 1990 and subsequently received a master’s degree in forestry from Yale University.[2]

Westerman worked as an engineer and forester before being elected to the Arkansas House in 2010. He was formerly employed as an engineer and forester by the Mid-South Engineering Company. He served as president of the Arkansas chapter of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. He is also a former chair of the Arkansas Academy of Biological and Agricultural Engineers, and served on the Fountain Lake School District school board.[citation needed]

Arkansas House of Representatives

Elections

Westerman ran for the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2010 without opposition to succeed fellow Republican Bill Sample, who was elected to the Arkansas State Senate.[3][4][5]

With the 2012 election, Westerman was transferred to his current District 22, in which he also ran without opposition in both the Republican primary and the general election. The incumbent District 22 lawmaker, Republican Nate Bell of Polk County, was switched to District 20.

Tenure

Westerman served as the House Minority Leader in 2012 and House Majority Leader in 2013.[6]

Committee assignments

  • Revenue And Taxation Committee
    • Subcommittee on Sales, Use, Miscellaneous Taxes and Exemptions (chair)
  • State Agencies And Governmental Affairs Committee
  • Insurance and Commerce Committee[6]

U.S. House of Representatives

Westerman’s first official Congress photo (114th Congress)

2014 election

Westerman won the Republican primary on May 20, defeating Tommy Moll, 54%–46%.[7] In November, he defeated Democratic nominee James Lee Witt, a former associate of U.S. President Bill Clinton, 54%-43%.[8]

Tenure

On June 20, 2017, as the only certified forester in the House, Westerman introduced H.R.2936 – Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017,[9] providing for the culling of overgrown federally managed woods. After passing the House, it was introduced in the Senate on November 2, 2017, where it stalled because of opposition from Democrats lobbied by anti-logging environmentalists.[10]

Westerman voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.[11]

In December 2020, Westerman was one of 126 Republican members of the House of Representatives to sign an amicus brief in support of Texas v. Pennsylvania, a lawsuit filed at the United States Supreme Court contesting the results of the 2020 presidential election, in which Joe Biden defeated[12] incumbent Donald Trump. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case on the basis that Texas lacked standing under Article III of the Constitution to challenge the results of an election held by another state.[13][14][15]

During the 2021 Capitol riot, Westerman, left behind in House minority leader Kevin McCarthy‘s office when he was evacuated by security, took a Civil War sword from a shattered display for protection and hid from rioters on a toilet.[16]

As of October 2021, Westerman had voted in line with Joe Biden‘s stated position 10% of the time.[17]

Committee assignments

In the 117th Congress, Westerman serves on the:

In the 114th Congress, Westerman served on the:

Caucus memberships

[19]

Electoral history

Arkansas House of Representatives 30th District Election, 2010
PartyCandidateVotes%
Republican Bruce Westerman n/a 100.00
Arkansas House of Representatives 22nd District Election, 2012
PartyCandidateVotes%
Republican Bruce Westerman n/a 100.00
Arkansas 4th Congressional District Republican Primary Election, 2014
PartyCandidateVotes%
Republican Bruce Westerman 18,719 54.45
RepublicanTommy Moll15,65945.55
Total votes34,378 100.00
Arkansas 4th Congressional District Election, 2014
PartyCandidateVotes%
Republican Bruce Westerman 110,789 53.75
DemocraticJames Lee Witt87,74242.57
LibertarianKen Hamilton7,5983.69
Write-in20.0
Total votes206,131 100.00
Republican hold
Arkansas 4th Congressional District Election, 2016
PartyCandidateVotes%
Republican Bruce Westerman (incumbent) 182,885 74.9
LibertarianKerry Hicks61,27425.1
Total votes244,159 100.00
Republican hold
Arkansas 4th Congressional District Republican Primary Election, 2018
PartyCandidateVotes%
Republican Bruce Westerman (incumbent) 40,201 79.8
RepublicanRandy Caldwell10,15120.2
Total votes50,352 100.00
Arkansas 4th Congressional District Election, 2018
PartyCandidateVotes%
Republican Bruce Westerman (incumbent) 136,740 66.7
DemocraticHayden Shamel63,98431.2
LibertarianTom Canada3,9521.9
Write-in2160.1
Total votes204,892 100.00
Republican hold
Arkansas 4th Congressional District Election, 2020
PartyCandidateVotes%
Republican Bruce Westerman (incumbent) 191,617 69.7
DemocraticWilliam Hanson75,75027.5
LibertarianFrank Gilbert7,6682.8
Total votes275,035 100.00
Republican hold

References

  1. ^ “About”. Congressman Bruce Westerman. December 3, 2012.
  2. ^ “Bruce Westerman’s Biography”. votesmart.org. Retrieved January 12, 2014.
  3. ^ Westerman plans to run for Sample’s seat in House. Hot Springs Village Voice. September 30, 2009
  4. ^ Westerman to resign from Fountain Lake school board. Hot Springs Village Voice. March 24, 2010
  5. ^ “State Representative District 030 – Certified, 2010”. sos.arkansas.gov. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  6. ^ a b “Arkansas House Of Representatives”. Arkanhouse.org. Archived from the original on January 2, 2015. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  7. ^ “Arkansas Primary Election Results, May 20, 2014”. KATV. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
  8. ^ “RealClearPolitics – Election 2014 – Arkansas 4th District – Westerman vs. Witt”. Realclearpolitics.com. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  9. ^ Westerman, Bruce (November 2, 2017). “H.R.2936 – 115th Congress (2017-2018): Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017”. www.congress.gov. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  10. ^ “Bruce Westerman faults forest-management bill blocks on Democrats”. The Washington Times. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  11. ^ Almukhtar, Sarah (December 19, 2017). “How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill”. The New York Times. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  12. ^ Blood, Michael R.; Riccardi, Nicholas (December 5, 2020). “Biden officially secures enough electors to become president”. AP News. Archived from the original on December 8, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  13. ^ Liptak, Adam (December 11, 2020). “Supreme Court Rejects Texas Suit Seeking to Subvert Election”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  14. ^ “Order in Pending Case” (PDF). Supreme Court of the United States. December 11, 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  15. ^ Diaz, Daniella. “Brief from 126 Republicans supporting Texas lawsuit in Supreme Court”. CNN. Archived from the original on December 12, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  16. ^ Leibovich, Mark (April 25, 2021). “Kevin McCarthy, Four Months After Jan. 6, Still on Defensive Over Trump”. The New York Times. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  17. ^ Bycoffe, Anna Wiederkehr and Aaron (October 22, 2021). “Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?”. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
  18. ^ “Membership”. Republican Study Committee. December 6, 2017. Retrieved March 28, 2021.
  19. ^ “Committees and Caucuses”. Congressman Bruce Westerman. December 13, 2012. Retrieved February 24, 2021.

External links

Arkansas House of Representatives
Preceded by

Member of the Arkansas House of Representatives
from the 30th district

2011–2013
Succeeded by

Preceded by

Member of the Arkansas House of Representatives
from the 22nd district

2013–2015
Succeeded by

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas’s 4th congressional district

2015–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by

United States representatives by seniority
236th
Succeeded by