Wightman goes the distance in public service

Above: Sen. Wightman holds his two-year-old granddaughter, Margaret, on his first day in the Legislature.

Sen. John Wightman tries to go on a walk outside everyday.

Even in cold, winter months.

He said he tries to walk at least two miles and sometimes as many as seven. It’s a good chance to organize his thoughts, he said.

“As you can see, it doesn’t make me thin,” Wightman said, with a laugh.
Even more than walking, Wightman enjoys playing with his granddaughters.
“That’s my best recreational activity,” he said.

Wightman has four granddaughters ranging in age from two to seven. A large, framed photo of them is the first thing he points out to visitors in his office.

Wightman graduated from Kearney State College, now the University of Nebraska at Kearney, in 1959 and was a high school teacher for one year after that. He taught all high school subjects at a small school in Dannebrog before heading to law school.

After graduating from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 1963, Wightman returned to his hometown of Lexington and began a general law practice, which today he runs with one of his sons, Jeff.

Wightman and his wife, Janet, have three children, two of whom are lawyers and one who is a professor at a private college.

In addition to his law practice, Wightman served on the Lexington City Council for 20 years and the county economic eevelopment board for 10 years.

He said public service has always been an interest of his. Wightman’s father served on the Overton school board and Wightman traces the beginning of his interest to that.

“My interest then developed through school,” he said. “Public policy affects everybody’s life to a great extent. Creating efficiency where the public gets more for the money spent is something I’m interested in.”

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