Nugent Won’t Seek Re-Election; Will Endorse Perfect
By Mike Perleberg
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – Johnny Nugent, who has been a staple in the southeast Indiana political landscape for more than three decades, has announced he will not seek re-election in 2014.
At the same time, Nugent (R-Lawrenceburg) is reportedly endorsing the man he’d like to see become his successor: Perfect North Slopes ski area owner Chip Perfect.
According to an email from Perfect’s campaign, community, business, and political leaders will gather for a “major announcement” from Nugent at Perfect North Slopes in Lawrenceburg at 6:00 p.m. Monday, December 2.
Nugent, 74, has been representing Senate District 43 in Indianapolis for 36 years. He owned Nugent Tractor Sales in Lawrenceburg for many years until selling the dealership in 2012. A conservative Republican, Nugent has also been a member of the National Rifle Association Board of Directors.
Perfect, also a Dearborn County resident, is a former Rising Sun High School teacher and 1979 Purdue University graduate. He and his family created Perfect North Slopes in 1980. He’s been a part of a number of other entrepreneurial projects since.
Eagle 99.3 will have Monday’s announcement at Perfect North Slopes covered.
Added at 9:57 a.m.:
The following is a news release sent from Senator Nugent’s office Monday:
State Sen. Johnny Nugent (R-Lawrenceburg) announced today he will not seek re-election to Senate District 43 in 2014.
“Volunteering to retire from the Senate has been one of my more difficult decisions. However, after a great amount of thoughtful prayer and quiet personal reflection, I have concluded that it’s time to pass the torch,” Nugent said. “Genuine respect and consideration of my wife and family, business and health all weighed heavily on my decision to decline running for re-election. I will forever remain grateful to all of the folks in Senate District 43 for the faith they have placed in me over the years.”
Nugent, a former Majority Floor Leader of the Senate Majority Caucus, was first elected to the State Senate in 1978. Previously, he served on the Dearborn County Board of Commissioners from 1966 to 1974, where he was the youngest commissioner ever elected in Indiana at the age of 26. Nugent also served seven years in the U.S. Army and Army Reserve.
During his time at the Statehouse, Nugent served as chair of the Senate Agriculture and Small Business Committee for more than 20 years. He also served as chair of the Roads and Transportation Committee, and was ranking member of the Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee.
Since his first days in the legislature, Nugent has been determined to help constituents in Southern Indiana. He authored legislation to exempt taxes on heating fuel for residents in Indiana. He also authored a bill requiring that disciplinary action taken against doctors be reported to the Medical Licensing Board. In addition, he sponsored legislation requiring school bus drivers to undergo criminal history checks.
Nugent has also worked on behalf of Hoosier servicemen and women to ensure veterans receive the recognition they deserve for protecting our freedom. He repeatedly co-authored and supported efforts to honor Purple Heart recipients in Indiana. He co-authored legislation to create Purple Heart license plates as well as a bill to expand education benefits for all Purple Heart recipients in Indiana. In 2005, Nugent co-authored legislation to support Indiana National Guard troops while on active duty deployments, and ensure their education benefits upon their return.
While Nugent served in the Senate, he has authored a number of pro-Second Amendment bills including Indiana’s “Castle Doctrine” as well as the nation’s first lifetime concealed carry permit. In addition, he’s been a strong supporter of hunters’ rights throughout his tenure.
All of his adult life, Nugent has been heavily involved in his community. He is a “Life Member” of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and serves on the NRA Board of Directors. He’s also a “Life Member” of the Indiana State Rifle and Pistol Association. Nugent serves as a member of the Murat Shrine Temple of Indianapolis, Southeastern Indiana Shrine Club and the Dearborn County Chamber of Commerce. Nugent is also a fifty-year member of Lawrenceburg Masonic Lodge #4 and a former member of the Dearborn County Hospital Board of Trustees.
Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) lauded Nugent as dedicated servant of the Indiana State Senate. “Johnny Nugent has been a great leader and voice for the people of southeastern Indiana for more than 35 years. He will be greatly missed by his constituents, as well as every Hoosier who values an experienced and patriotic voice for our state. I will personally miss his institutional knowledge, his savvy, and also his friendship,” Long said. “I believe I can speak for all of his colleagues within the Indiana Senate in saying that we each wish Johnny great happiness and fulfillment in his retirement from public service.”
During his tenure in the Indiana General Assembly, Nugent has served the following counties: Bartholomew, Dearborn, Decatur, Jackson, Jennings, Ohio, Ripley, Union, Franklin, Switzerland and Fayette.
After graduating from Aurora High School in 1957, he married his high school sweetheart, Nancy, in 1960. They have one daughter, two grandsons, and live in Lawrenceburg with their dalmatian, Skyler.