Richard Lugar

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Richard Lugar
Former U.S. Senator from Indiana
From: January 3, 1977 – January 3, 2013
Predecessor Vance Hartke
Successor Joe Donnelly
Party Republican
Spouse(s) Charlene Smeltzer Lugar
Religion Methodist

Richard Green "Dick" Lugar (April 4, 1932 – April 28, 2019) was a United States Senator from Indiana. Before leaving, he was the most senior Republican in the United States Senate. A big government, pro-foreign interventionist neocon, Lugar was among the more liberal Republican senators, and he lost in a landslide defeat in his own primary in 2012 to a conservative challenger, Richard Mourdock. Mourdock, however, lost the general election to Democrat Joe Donnelly.

Early life

Lugar graduated from Oxford University with an honors degree in politics, philosophy and economics. He volunteered for the U.S. Navy in 1956 and served as an officer from 1957 until 1960. Lugar's first elected office was when he served on the Indianapolis School Board from 1964–1967, where he advocated voluntary public school desegregation. Lugar was elected Mayor of Indianapolis in 1967 and in 1971 was elected to a term as President of the National League of Cities. During his two terms as Mayor he was dubbed Richard Nixon's "favorite mayor" for his calls for fewer government programs and similar conservative positions. Lugar's name was mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.[1]

United States Senate

As a liberal Republican, Lugar was honored by the lamestream media (Time magazine) in 2006 by calling him one of America's 10 best Senators.[2] In fact, Richard Lugar votes with the liberals on gun control, immigration, Supreme Court nominations and other issues.[3] In the United States Senate Lugar has voted with Republican colleagues only 76.5% of the time,[4] and votes against conservatives on many of the most important issues.

Lugar unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for United States Senate in 1974, but went on to unseat Democrat incumbent Vance Hartke in 1976. He has since been reelected five times. Lugar is best known for his work involving national security. He served as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations from 1985-1987 and again from 2003–2007.

He co-sponsored the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program act which was an ambitious program to safeguard and dismantle weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet Union, it has destroyed more than 7,500 nuclear warheads, and funded the removal of all nuclear weapons from Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan. He has also been a strong proponent of expanding the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).


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