John Ragan

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John D. Ragan
Member of the Tennessee House of Representatives
from the 33rd district
Personal details
Born (1948-12-16) December 16, 1948 (age 66)
Political party Republican
Residence Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Alma mater United States Air Force Academy
Occupation Business consultant
Religion Southern Baptist

John Ragan is a Republican party member of the Tennessee House of Representatives, for the 33rd District, encompassing parts of Anderson County, Tennessee.[1][2]


Early life[edit]

John Ragan was born on December 16, 1948 in Morganton, North Carolina.[2] He graduated from the United States Air Force Academy and received a Master's degree in Aeronautical Sciences from Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University.[2][3][4] He also attended the University of Tennessee as a post-graduate student and the University of Oklahoma, the University of Southern California, and the University of North Carolina in professional capacities.[2][3][4]


He served as a commissioned officer for 24 years, as an Air Force pilot.[3][4] He also taught as adjunct faculty at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the University of Tennessee.[3] He has been a business consultant with 27 businesses, a number of which are on the Fortune 100 list.[3][4]

In 2010, he was elected, and in 2012, re-elected, as State Representative to the General Assembly for the 33rd district, formerly represented by Jim Hackworth, focusing on education, illegal immigration, and the economy.[5][6][7] In 2010, he said, based upon academic studies by Vanderbilt and other sources, there wasn't sufficient evidence that public funding for early childhood education was needed.[8] A year later, he voted to overturn teacher union collective bargaining rights but supported collaborative bargaining.[9]

In the 108th Tennessee General Assembly serves as Vice Chair of the House Government Operations Committee, Chair of the Joint Committee on Judiciary and Government, Member of Joint Subcommittee of Education, Health and General Welfare, Member of Joint Subcommittee Legislative Working Group, Member of Southern States Energy Board.[3][4]

"Don't Say Gay" and "License to Bully" Bill[edit]

In 2013, John Ragan put forward a bill that clarified and reinforced, both, student, and faculty, free speech rights. Critics claimed it would make it legal to harass LGBT people based on moral or religious grounds. Critics also claimed the bill would effectively "out" LGBT school children.[10] Critics claimed Ragan's justification for this bill is that he believes homosexuality to be a sign of mental instability.[11] In fact, the bill required that at grade levels pre-K through eight (pre-K-8), classroom instruction, course materials or other informational resources concerning sex education should be age and content appropriate for the intended student audience.[12] Additionally, the bill required school counselors, nurses, principals or assistant principals responding appropriately to a student whose circumstances present immediate and urgent safety issues involving human sexuality to notify parents or legal guardians of such students as soon as practicable of the circumstances requiring intervention. [13]

Personal life[edit]

He is a Southern Baptist, and pro-life.[2][4] He is married with two children and one grandchild.[2]