John Wightman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
John Wightman
Member of the Nebraska Legislature
from the 36th district
In office
Preceded by Jim Cudaback
Succeeded by Matt Williams
Personal details
Born (1938-10-02) October 2, 1938 (age 77)
Political party Republican
Residence Lexington, Nebraska

John M. Wightman (born October 2, 1938) is a politician from the state of Nebraska in the Midwestern United States. He served two terms, from 2007 to 2015, in the Nebraska Legislature, representing a district in the central part of the state. Wightman is a member of the Republican Party.

Personal life and professional career[edit]

Wightman was born on October 2, 1938, in North Platte, Nebraska. He grew up between Sumner and Overton, and graduated from Sumner High School in 1956. He obtained a B.S. from Kearney State College, now the University of Nebraska at Kearney, in 1959. After teaching high school for one year in Dannebrog, he attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law, receiving a J.D. in 1963.[1][2][3]

In 1963, Wightman moved to Lexington to practice law. In 1964, he married Janet L. Hyde; the couple eventually produced three children.[1][2]

Political career[edit]

Wightman served several terms on the Lexington city council, amounting to some 20 years; for two of those years, he served as the city's mayor.[4]

In 2006, Wightman ran for the Nebraska legislature from the 36th District, which consisted of parts of Buffalo and Dawson Counties in the south-central part of the state. He was one of two candidates, both Republicans, in the nonpartisan race; the other was Dick Pierce, a farmer and rancher from Miller, then a member of the Buffalo County Board of Supervisors.[5][6] In the May 2006 primary election, Wightman received 4227 of the 7147 votes cast, or 59.1% of the total; Pierce obtained 2920 votes, or 40.9%.[7] Since only two candidates had run in the primary, both moved on to the November general election, which Wightman won with 5623 votes (55.3%) to Pierce's 4552 votes (44.7%).[8]

In 2010, Wightman was unopposed for re-election to the 36th District seat.[9] Based on the 2010 U.S. census, the boundaries of the district were redrawn in 2011; it now consisted of the entirety of Dawson and Custer Counties, and the northern half of Buffalo County.[4][10]

Wightman suffered health problems during his tenure in the Legislature, including several knee replacements, one of which was followed by a persistent infection that forced him to miss part of the 2011 legislative session. In September 2012, he suffered what was described as a "moderate" stroke; later, he stated that he had no memory of the two weeks after the stroke, and that it had affected his ability to remember the names of his fellow legislators.[11][12]

Under Nebraska's term-limits law, Wightman was ineligible to run for a third consecutive term in 2014.[12] He was succeeded by Gothenburg banker Matt Williams.[13]


  1. ^ a b 2010–2011 Nebraska Blue Book, p. 308. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
  2. ^ a b Young, Joanne. "Fresh Faces: John Wightman". Lincoln Journal Star. 2007-04-07. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
  3. ^ "Wightman goes the distance in public service". Unicameral Update. 2007-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-28. Archived 2015-05-28 at Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ a b Mortensen, Ellen. "Custer County has new representation". Custer County Chief. 2011-06-30. Retrieved 2015-05-28. Archived 2015-05-28 at Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "38th Legislative District". Kearney Hub. 2006-05-02. Retrieved 2015-05-28. The title and article erroneously refer to the "38th District" rather than the 36th; other sources, e.g. Nancy Hicks, "Legislative candidates look familiar", Lincoln Journal Star, 2006-05-11, retrieved 2015-05-28, place the race in the 36th District.
  6. ^ "Nebraska Legislative Districts 2002–2003". Nebraska Access. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
  7. ^ "Nebraska Election 2006: Official Election Results: Member of the Legislature". Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved 2015-05-28. Archived 2015-02-21 at Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ "Nebraska Election 2006: Official General Election Results: Member of the Legislature". Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved 2015-05-28. Archived 2015-02-10 at Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ "Banker Williams seeks Wightman’s seat in Unicam". Kearney Hub. 2013-10-31. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
  10. ^ "Legislative District 36 - LB703 (2011)". Nebraska Legislature. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
  11. ^ Stoddard, Martha. "John Wightman hospitalized". Lexington Clipper-Herald. 2012-09-18. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
  12. ^ a b Barrett, Elizabeth. "Term limits, health issues bring about Sen. Wightman’s last legislative session". Gothenburg Times. 2014-04-24. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
  13. ^ Barrett, Elizabeth. "Matt Williams ready for 104th session". Gothenburg Times. 2015-01-02. Retrieved 2015-05-28.