Tony Vargas

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Tony Vargas
Member of the Nebraska Legislature
from the 7th district
Assumed office
January 4, 2017
Preceded byNicole Fox
Personal details
Born (1984-09-02) September 2, 1984 (age 34)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationUniversity of Rochester (BA)
Pace University (MA)

Tony Vargas (born September 2, 1984) is a member of the Nebraska Legislature. While a registered Democrat, the legislature is officially nonpartisan. Vargas represents the 7th district, which covers much of southeastern Omaha.


Vargas was born to Antonio and Lidia Vargas in New York City, who were originally from Peru. He was the youngest of three brothers.[1] He graduated from the University of Rochester and received a MS in education from Pace University. Vargas taught in New York City before moving to Nebraska.[2]

Vargas was appointed to the Omaha Public Schools Board in 2013, following the resignation of a board member. In 2016 he ran for the Legislature against incumbent Nicole Fox. Fox, a Republican, finished third in the nonpartisan primary, which saw Vargas and former senator John Synowiecki advance to the general election.[3][4][5][6][7] Vargas defeated Synowiecki in the general election with nearly 62% of the vote. He is only the second Hispanic legislator in Nebraska's history, after Ray Aguilar.[3]

Vargas was one of 59 individuals selected as a 2018 Presidential Leadership Scholar, a national leadership program championed and led by President George W. Bush and President Bill Clinton. In 2017, Vargas was selected by the Omaha Jaycees as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Omahans (TOYO) and by the United States Junior Chamber as a Top Outstanding Young American (TOYA).

Personal life[edit]

Vargas is married to his wife Lauren. He is a Catholic and resides in the Little Italy neighborhood of Omaha.[2]

State Legislature[edit]

Tony Vargas serves on the Appropriations committee. In 2019, Vargas was elected by his peers to the position of Vice Chair of the Executive Board, the administrative arm of the Legislature. He also was elected chair of the Legislature's Planning Committee.

Electoral history[edit]

Nebraska Legislature District 7 primary, 2016[8]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Tony Vargas 1,220 45.35
Nonpartisan John Synowiecki 745 27.70
Nonpartisan Nicole Fox 725 26.95
Total votes 2,690 100.00
Nebraska Legislature District 7 election, 2016[9]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Tony Vargas 5,244 61.75
Nonpartisan John Synowiecki 3,248 38.25
Total votes 8,492 100.00


  1. ^ Martin, Brent (September 6, 2017). "Sen. Vargas says fight for DACA program is personal (AUDIO)". Nebraska Radio Network. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Tony Vargas' Biography". Project VoteSmart. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Walton, Don (July 6, 2016). "Tony Vargas may be Nebraska's Latino legislative voice". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  4. ^ Knapp, Fred (May 4, 2016). "South Omaha Race Shows Jockeying For Legislature". Nebraska Educational Telecommunications. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  5. ^ "Synowiecki will try to regain South Omaha seat in Nebraska Legislature". Omaha World-Herald. May 18, 2015. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  6. ^ Nohr, Emily (May 20, 2016). "Race between Synowiecki, Fox not close enough for automatic recount". Omaha World-Herald. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  7. ^ Walton, John (November 11, 2015). "New senator stakes out independent ground". Lincoln Journal-Star. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  8. ^ "NE Legislature 07 - Primary 2016". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  9. ^ "NE Legislature 07 2016". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 23, 2017.