Bruce Westerman

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Bruce Westerman
Bruce Westerman, 115th official photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 4th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded byTom Cotton
Majority Leader of the Arkansas House of Representatives
In office
January 2013 – January 2015
Preceded byJohnnie Roebuck
Succeeded byKen Bragg
Member of the Arkansas House of Representatives
from the 22nd district
In office
January 2013 – January 2015
Preceded byNate Bell
Succeeded byMickey Gates
Member of the Arkansas House of Representatives
from the 30th district
In office
January 2011 – January 2013
Preceded byBill Sample
Succeeded byCharles Armstrong
Personal details
Bruce Eugene Westerman

(1967-11-18) November 18, 1967 (age 53)
Hot Springs, Arkansas, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Sharon French
EducationUniversity of Arkansas (BS)
Yale University (MS)
WebsiteHouse website

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

In 2014, Westerman ran successfully for the U.S. House to succeed Tom Cotton, who had unseated Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Pryor.


Westerman was reared in and still resides in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He worked as an engineer and forester before running for the Arkansas House, to which he was elected in 2010. He was Majority Leader in the 2013-2014 legislative session.

Westerman 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 in New Haven, Connecticut.[1]

Westerman 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. He formerly served on the school board of the Fountain Lake School District.

Arkansas House of Representatives[edit]


Westerman ran for the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2010 without opposition to succeed fellow Republican Bill Sample, who was instead elected to the Arkansas State Senate.[2][3][4]

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.


Westerman served as the House Minority Leader in 2012 and House Majority Leader in 2013.[5]

In 2013, Westerman co-sponsored the amending of state income tax rates and supported the proposed spending cap on the state budget, but the latter measure failed by a two-vote margin in the House. He joined the majority to override the vetoes of Democratic Governor Mike Beebe to enact legislation to require photo identification for casting a ballot in Arkansas and to ban abortion after twenty weeks of gestation. He was a co-sponsor of both of those measures. Westerman supported related legislation to outlaw abortion whenever fetal heartbeat is detected, to forbid the inclusion of abortion in the state insurance exchange, and to make the death of a fetus a felony in certain cases.[6]

On gun issues, Westerman co-sponsored allowing officials of universities and religious institutions to carry concealed firearms. He voted to reduce the application fee for obtaining a concealed carry permit, but the measure was defeated in the House. Westerman supported a measure that prohibits the governor from regulating firearms during an emergency. He voted for the failed measure to prohibit the closing of schools based on a two-year pupil enrollment analysis. He voted to establish a tiered system of lottery scholarships. He voted against legislation to make the office of prosecuting attorney in Arkansas nonpartisan, which nevertheless passed 63–24. He supported the bill, signed by Governor Beebe, to permit the sale of up to five hundred gallons per month of unpasteurized whole milk directly from the farm to consumers.[6]

In 2011 Westerman voted for dress codes and the establishment of state standards for biblical instruction in public schools. He voted to prohibit cell phone usage in school zones. He voted to prohibit state driver's license tests from being administered in languages other than English. He co-sponsored the Capital Gains Reduction Act and the reduction of taxes on manufacturers' utilities. He voted against the 2011 congressional redistricting act.[6]

Committee assignments[edit]

  • Revenue And Taxation Committee
    • Subcommittee on Sales, Use, Miscellaneous Taxes and Exemptions (Chair)
  • State Agencies And Governmental Affairs Committee
  • Insurance and Commerce Committee[5]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

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

2014 election[edit]

Westerman won the Republican congressional primary on May 20, 2014, by 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]


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] Project Vote Smart reports that the American Conservative Union has given him a 90% evaluation.

Committee assignments[edit]

In the 114th Congress, Westerman serves on the:

Caucus memberships[edit]

Electoral history[edit]

Arkansas House of Representatives 30th District Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bruce Westerman n/a 100.00
Arkansas House of Representatives 22nd District Election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bruce Westerman n/a 100.00
Arkansas 4th Congressional District Republican Primary Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bruce Westerman 18,719 54.45
Republican Tommy Moll 15,659 45.55
Arkansas 4th Congressional District Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bruce Westerman 110,789 53.75
Democratic James Lee Witt 87,742 42.57
Libertarian Ken Hamilton 7,598 3.69
Write-ins Write-ins 2 0.00


  1. ^ "Bruce Westerman's Biography". Retrieved January 12, 2014.
  2. ^ Westerman plans to run for Sample's seat in House. Hot Springs Village Voice. September 30, 2009
  3. ^ Westerman to resign from Fountain Lake school board. Hot Springs Village Voice. March 24, 2010
  4. ^ "State Representative District 030 – Certified, 2010". Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Arkansas House Of Representatives". Archived from the original on January 2, 2015. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  6. ^ a b c "Bruce Westerman's Voting Records". Retrieved January 12, 2013.
  7. ^ "Arkansas Primary Election Results, May 20, 2014". KATV. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
  8. ^ "RealClearPolitics – Election 2014 – Arkansas 4th District – Westerman vs. Witt". Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  9. ^ Westerman, Bruce (November 2, 2017). "H.R.2936 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017". 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. ^ "Members". U.S. - Japan Caucus. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  13. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Retrieved January 22, 2018.

External links[edit]

Arkansas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bill Sample
Member of the Arkansas House of Representatives
from the 30th district

Succeeded by
Charles Armstrong
Preceded by
Nate Bell
Member of the Arkansas House of Representatives
from the 22nd district

Succeeded by
Mickey Gates
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Tom Cotton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 4th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Bonnie Watson Coleman
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Lee Zeldin