Senator Boozman of Arkansas back at work after heart surgery

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 09, 2014 7:49 PM

By Steve Barnes

LITTLE ROCK Ark. (Reuters) - Arkansas Republican Senator John Boozman returned to work in Washington on Monday following heart surgery six weeks ago and announced he would seek re-election in 2016.

"I've really enjoyed my service and I'd like to continue," Boozman said in a telephone interview. "I expect a full recovery."

Boozman, 63, had an emergency operation on April 22 to repair a flawed aorta after experiencing chest pain at his home in Rogers, Arkansas.

His doctors said at the time the operation was successful and he would be able to resume his normal schedule following rest and recuperation.

"I'm feeling really great now, stronger every day," Boozman said.

Boozman is serving his first term in the Senate.

After serving five terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, he easily defeated two-term Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln in 2010.

Boozman's recovery was of concern to his party as it tries to recapture the Senate in this autumn's elections.

Had Boozman's health compelled him to resign, Democratic Governor Mike Beebe would have picked his successor.

Boozman is considered an early but heavy favorite to win re-election.

(Reporting by Steve Barnes; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Peter Cooney)