New Senator Sworn In

April 14, 2006- Posted at 6:45 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR--It was the beginning of a new generation in the state senate for the Bookout family today as Paul Bookout was sworn in as District 14's newest senator in Little Rock.

"I am elated and honored that the people ofCraighead County have given me the opportunity to serve them in the state senate," said Bookout.

Bookout is filling the seat vacated when his father Jerry Bookout died in February after losing his fight with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

"He effected so many people, he was a giver his entire life, and I feel a great desire and calling to do a lot of things he did," said Paul Bookout. 

Senator Jerry Bookout served 28 years in the senate before he passed earlier this year. Now the state's newest senator, Senator Paul Bookout feels he has big shoes to fill.

"He is on my mind and in my heart today. Always will be as long as I am in state senate and the rest of my life. I will be thinking of Dad often and what would he do," said Paul Bookout.

Although Bookout has never served in senate he did serve 6 years as a state representative. In addition he grew up serving as a page for his father in the senate and in recent years helped assist in his father's duties when he became ill. All things that helped prepare him for the job.

"This was just something I just wanted to do my whole life. I think the experience I have had my whole life and combination of experience I had in the house, I feel like I am as prepared as I can be for this job," said Bookout.

Bookout highlighted several issues he hopes to work on including education, alternative fuels, prescription drugs and highways just to name a few. Bookout plans to hit the ground running next Friday when the state senate resumes the special session.