|Member of the Nebraska Legislature
from the 36th district
|Preceded by||Jim Cudaback|
|Succeeded by||Matt Williams|
|Born||October 2, 1938|
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
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.
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.
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. 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%. 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%).
In 2010, Wightman was unopposed for re-election to the 36th District seat. 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.
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.
- 2010–2011 Nebraska Blue Book, p. 308. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
- Young, Joanne. "Fresh Faces: John Wightman". Lincoln Journal Star. 2007-04-07. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
- "Wightman goes the distance in public service". Unicameral Update. 2007-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-28. Archived 2015-05-28 at Wayback Machine.
- Mortensen, Ellen. "Custer County has new representation". Custer County Chief. 2011-06-30. Retrieved 2015-05-28. Archived 2015-05-28 at Wayback Machine.
- "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.
- "Nebraska Legislative Districts 2002–2003". Nebraska Access. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
- "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.
- "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.
- "Banker Williams seeks Wightman’s seat in Unicam". Kearney Hub. 2013-10-31. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
- "Legislative District 36 - LB703 (2011)". Nebraska Legislature. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
- Stoddard, Martha. "John Wightman hospitalized". Lexington Clipper-Herald. 2012-09-18. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
- Barrett, Elizabeth. "Term limits, health issues bring about Sen. Wightman’s last legislative session". Gothenburg Times. 2014-04-24. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
- Barrett, Elizabeth. "Matt Williams ready for 104th session". Gothenburg Times. 2015-01-02. Retrieved 2015-05-28.