Arkansas Politics

Who Is The Mystery Candidate Challenging John Boozman? (Updated!: It’s This Guy!)

Who's the mystery primary challenger to Boozman?The Morning News of Northwest Arkansas reports that a candidate is going to challenge GOP Rep. John Boozman in a Republican primary for the Third District House seat and will announce on August 3.

The only catch is that they’re not telling WHO this person might be, which is just about the douchiest move I can imagine.

So, Arkansas Project readers, I command you: Let’s shake this joker’s name loose. Who is it? Shoot me an e-mail or drop your suggestions in the comments. I have a suspicion as to the name, but want to ask around a bit.

(Mark Moore at the Arkansas Watch blog forecast this announcement last week.)

UPDATE: The Arkansas Project has it on good authority that the name to watch is Bernard Skoch, another retired military fellow (pronounced “Scotch”). And it so happens we have video of him speaking to the Fayetteville Tea Party on April 15:

Bio information at jump. Oh, and that suspicion I referred to above as to who I thought it would be? It wasn’t that person at all. Go figure.

Official U.S. Air Force bio on Skoch:


Retired June 30, 2003.

Brig. Gen. Bernard K. Skoch is Director of Communications Operations, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Installations and Logistics, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. General Skoch is responsible for developing policies and procedures for communications enterprise operations and maintenance, and ensuring nearly 100,000 Air Force communications and information professionals are trained, organized and equipped for full-spectrum operations.

General Skoch is a graduate of the University of Arkansas and received his commission through the Air Force ROTC program in 1974. He is a 28-year communications officer who has served in numerous joint, command and senior leadership positions. His early assignments were in communications operations and maintenance at the tactical and Air Force major command levels. He has commanded multiple squadrons, with missions ranging from intelligence training, to support for a strategic missile wing and the Secretary of Defense.

General Skoch served on the Joint Staff supporting the National Military Command System, and developing the Global Command and Control System. He also served as the senior communications and information officer, and Chief Information Officer for Pacific Air Forces, and as the Director of Systems for the Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications and Information at the Air Staff. Prior to assuming his current position, General Skoch served as the Principal Director for Customer Advocacy and for Network Services at the Defense Information Systems Agency, Arlington, Va., where he provided network support to combatant commanders, services and agencies in the Department of Defense.

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20 thoughts on “Who Is The Mystery Candidate Challenging John Boozman? (Updated!: It’s This Guy!)

  • GOP Primary Douche

    On a scale of Ed Hardy to Affliction how douchey is running in a primary against Boozman?

  • Frank Edwards

    Heard it is a former Springdale policeman

  • Fourche River Rex

    Pass the douchey from the left hand side. Pass the douchey from the left hand side.

  • Whole Truther

    We all know this is a wily subterfuge by DK to build up this story. The “mystery candidate” is none other the the Arkansas Project writer himself. Everyone knows DK has always hated Boozman. Add this fact to the rumor that he plans to move to Hindsville and you can connect the dots.

  • Fourche River Rex

    Based on that, he sounds like a good candidate. But he’s jousting at windmills. Like Boozman or hate him, he’s safe.
    I wish this fellow and all these people running for Senate would line up and run for other offices…
    Secretary of State, Land Commissioner, etc., are open and possible wins to candidates that can self fund. They would be excellent stepping stones to for other offices. But instead, we’ll bloody each other up by 400 people getting into contested races and most seats will go unchallenged. And the dems will still be in control. As Pogo would say, “I have seen the enemy and he is us.”

  • Sec State sounds like a great job for the general. It allows him to lend his leadership skills to an important staff which governs elections.

    Also, you know Gen. Skoch would ensure that absentee military ballots are counted. (Not implying anyone else would not, you just know he will be on it).

  • L'Anguille River Lex

    Any person named Scotch can’t be all bad. I dated his sister Speyside until I heard that the other sister Islay was a better lay.

  • SouthArkie

    Have to agree KR James, I wish this guy would run for Sec of State. He sounds great and has had a successful career. Upending Boozman is just not going to happen…we have so many folks running that should be focusing on the state offices rather than personal ambition. Which after watching more than a few speeches, much is just ambition.

  • Bill from Sheridan

    This guy running against Boozman obviously doesn’t understand much about the political process. I wonder how embarrassing it will be to get 15% of the vote?

    I am excited about one thing from this though. Primaries of this nature mean that the conservative base is mad ad ready to vote against liberals. Blanche could have some problems if all of the conservative base shows up next Fall.

  • I am hoping that the conservative base is motivated to stand up candidates for the state house and county quorum courts as those are just as important (and a better use of resources) than trying to unseat a Republican incumbent who has voted against porkulus and cap and tax this Congress.

  • Several of us here in NW Arkansas had the unfortunate experience to serve in the same Air Force unit as Bernie Skotch during tours of duty in west Texas. We found him to be a selfish, cruel, dishonest, ego-centric little tyrant who would joyfully sacrifice any or all of his enlisted members (and junior officers) if he thought he could score points with his superiors. Back then, he bragged about being a Democrat, a rabid Michael Dukakis supporter. We will be working hard to make sure Bernie has no political chance against Boozman or anyone else in Arkansas, regardless of party affiliation.

  • Darryl Leach

    I suppose it might seem a little strange that a Tennessee resident would engage in a discussion regarding a prospective Arkansas candidate for the House of Representatives. Perhaps it would justify my presence here to know that my wife and I were ardent proponents for Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign and, regardless of state affiliation, we’re actually concerned with our national leadership and their role in effectively representing us.

    Of course the real reason for my contribution to this dialog is that, quite simply, I’m a friend of Bernie Skoch as well as a former airman under his command. I can tell you with absolute confidence after 26 years in the Air Force and nearly a half-century of life that there is *always* two (if not more) sides to every story, and I feel obligated to balance this blog with my side of Bernie Skoch’s story.

    I served with no officer–commissioned or non-commissioned—-who is more humble, smarter, wiser (far distinct from “smarter”), principled, or compassionate than Brigadier General (BG)-Retired Bernard K. Skoch. From my direct experience as a senior enlisted member of BG Skoch’s Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) major command staff, I can authoritatively testify that he trusted, respected, and relied on every military and civilian staffer—-particularly the enlisted force from the Staff Sergeant administrator to the Chief Master Sergeant career field manager—-for their expertise and skills. As evidence of this claim, Bernie entrusted me—-then a Senior Master Sergeant—-to manage his largest budget ($50 million-plus), his biggest and most diverse career field (approximately 1,100 personnel), and one of his most visible communications-operations initiatives (command and control network regionalization). To be clear, several other enlisted staff members by Bernie’s personal appointment managed multi-million dollar budgets, large career fields, and high-impact national security-sensitive projects, so my individual account is just the tip of the iceberg in validating Bernie Skoch’s personal and professional character as an Air Force leader.

    After leaving PACAF in July 1997, I didn’t have the privilege of directly serving with Bernie at his follow-on assignments to the Air Staff, the Defense Information Systems Agency, or Headquarters Air Force, so I’ll confine my post-PACAF remarks to two undisputable facts which plainly underscore Bernie Skoch’s relationship with the Air Force enlisted force.

    First, Bernie’s most coveted Air Force rank is not Brigadier General, but the honorary Chief Master Sergeant title confirmed and bestowed to him upon his retirement by hundreds of Chief Master Sergeants stationed throughout the Washington DC military and worldwide DoD communications communities. Consideration for—-and, more so, presentation of—-this title is uniquely selective, so Bernie’s status as an honorary Chief Master Sergeant can only be indicative of an extremely positive rapport with the enlisted force.

    Second, Bernie and his wife, Debbie, traveled over 5,000 miles at personal expense upon my request for him to preside over my Air Force retirement ceremony. Quite honestly, I initially questioned the inconsideration of my request due to the exorbitant expense, time, and distance, but rationalized my call to Bernie as a respectful muse. Needless to say, Bernie and Debbie completely rearranged their finances and schedule to join me and my family for a truly memorable ceremony. In light of such an event and the self-less effort to make it happen, I simply fail to see how anyone could view such a man as being a “selfish,…ego-centric…tyrant”.

    I’ve alerted former Air Force enlisted and commissioned members—representing the entirety of communications operations and maintenance career fields and including a few from Goodfellow AFB, TX during BG Skoch’s honorable service—to this blog, and I’ve encouraged them to contribute proper perspective to Bernie Skoch’s story as they see fit. Their testimony will reveal that Bernie was acclaimed “The Best Commander in the Air Force” by his enlisted troops, that every Inspector General team evaluating Bernie’s units graded enlisted morale as “Outstanding”, and other first-hand facts from the respectful voices that actually served with him.

    To Tincanman and your fellow Arkansas veterans, I’m grateful for your service to this nation in which you voluntarily protected our freedoms—particularly speech. I urge you to reconsider your recall of Bernie Skoch, especially the unfounded statements that he supported Dukakis or any other Democrat for that matter. Further, I would encourage you to give BG Skoch the consideration of your identity and complaint to which you can expect a heartfelt explanation (and apology if warranted) that will be delivered both publically and as a hand-written personal note in characteristic Bernie Skoch graciousness and fashion. Short of that, I feel it’s in your best interest to heed the words from your personal web site in future replies: “Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought of as a complete, blithering idiot than to open your mouth and actually prove you are a complete, blithering idiot.”

  • Did I understand the I-Caucus interview of Bernie that he supports the unconstitutional acts of Congress in undeclared wars and the 60 year funding and arming of Israel?


  • Steve Sweeney

    Wholeheartedly concur with Mr Leach. Bernie Skoch’s leadership style and career record of concern for people is impeccable. Moreso than any officer I’ve ever served with, or for, General Skoch went to great lengths and personal sacrifice to be fair, honest and above board at all times. I personally witnessed countless times where he went out of his way to help people from all walks of life at all times of day or night. He’s the kind of guy who drives under the speed limit and whenever possible stops to help stranded motorists in need of assistance. He genuinely cared about people and what they were experiencing, especially during and post 9/11. His example and conservative values are often the topic of many a dinner conversation at my family table. He is very thoughtful and generous even though his wealth is spread accross a large family of children and grandchildren. Bernie Skoch is a shining example to all walks of life, both young and old of a devoted Husband, caring Father and loyal friend. He represents all that is right about America. I would work for him again in a heartbeat, anytime, anywhere and for free if I had to. That’s how much Bernie Skoch means to me.

  • Darryl : I stand by my previous post and my opinion. It is truthful, factual and completely in line with my and others experience with and recollection of, Bernie. Yes we actually served with him, contrary to your lame attempt to infer otherwise. You evidently have a different experience with him and a different point of view about him. Others will have their own opinion. That’s fine. But know one thing for certain. The incident relating to his support of Dukakis is true based on his own statements to us at the time; statements which were numerous during that Presidential election year. It is a vivid recollection for us who were there because it was the opposite political view to ours. We never offered any counter opinion to his stated politics at the time believing retribution would follow. Now, on the other hand, maybe Bernie was lying to us back then about his Dukakis support. No way for us to know. It seemed genuine enough. Then again, maybe he has just forgotten that part of his life. That’s certainly fine with me. It was, after all, many years ago. We all have the right to switch our political views if we so chose. No harm, no foul. It is one of the many great freedoms we enjoy in this country. He shouldn’t be ashamed to admit it if that’s the case. If he’s just being dishonest with you and others about it, however, that’s a different matter. Based again on my experience around him, he’s more likely conveniently let that part of his past go because it doesn’t fit into his current scheme to gain political office.

    Your recital of the lines on his Officer Evaluation Report (OER) on his accomplishments brought a smile. Were you actually standing at attention when you typed those? You can wave your finger and point to all the little materialistic Air Force political trinkets he has on his “I Love Me” wall all you want. You can read all the OER statements verbatim till you are blue in the face. I’m not impressed, nor will it change what I know of the man and it won’t change the past. It is admirable that you stand up for your friend and you can vote for him if you like, that’s your option. He will never get my vote.

    You “urge me to reconsider my recall” of him? Be honest. What you really want me to do is rewrite history so it’s more convenient for you and your political candidate. Do you really want me to lie? You can stand down on that one. Not going to happen. You think it’s “in my best interest” to keep my mouth shut about the truth? Really? Or what? Tell us, has he promised you a cushy little political appointment job if he gets elected? Sounds like it. Thank you for making my point about Bernie and his followers such as yourself. You demand we do it your way or there will be retribution? Typical veiled threat duly noted. I’d expect nothing less. Not the kind of people we want in political office at any level, not in Tennessee, not in Arkansas, not in the U.S.A.

    One more thing, Darryl. Thank you for visiting my website and quoting from it. I’m honored. Mostly, thank you for opening your mouth and proving my quote. Looks like you have a teabag wedged in there.

  • Don’t waste your vote for someone that you believe will dishonor the oath of Office. Didn’t Bernie say in the I-Caucus interview that he would not honor the Oath?

    For what “constitutional” reason are Americans supposed to elect Congressmen if not to honor the Oath of Office?


  • Allan: Excellent question. I’m not familiar with what was said in the I-Caucus interview but if that turns out to be Bernie’s position, it would wipe out any belief of honesty or integrity on his part. It would mean that should he win office he would be doing so with the intent to commit a lie, a fraud on the voters of the State of Arkansas by taking an oath he never intends to keep. In fact, failing to keep an Oath of Office related to his political position could even be viewed by some as treason. At the very least, it would be unethical, dishonest and dishonorable. It may even be criminal.

  • Jeff Vanderloo

    I’m compelled to make a brief comment on behalf of BG Bernie Skoch after reading this blog. Bernie Skoch is the most personable and genuine leader I served with in my 25 year career. General Skoch’s commitment and compassion to the members (and their family) under his command can’t be described…only realized.

    I won’t comment on what might have happened 25 years ago in West Texas but the Bernie Skoch I know will make a great Arkansas Leader.

  • Wolfpak Vet

    Stumbled across this blog when I was Googling to see what General Skoch was up to.

    I have had the honor of serving under a couple of officers that I respected as much as General Skoch, but none that I respected more. He was a caring and deeply humble leader, one I’d happily follow anywhere. Not sure who Tincanman is talking about, but it’s not the General Skoch I knew.

  • I don’t agree with all of his stances, but I know him personally. Not from the military, but our families have been friends for years. He is one of the most humble and kindest men I know. Whether you agree with what he says or not, while in office he would be honest and a trustworthy politician, and that is definitely something we should look for.

    And to Tincanman — you were twisting Darryl’s words. Classic political tactic. Are you running?


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