Tony Vargas

Last updated
Tony Vargas
Member of the Nebraska Legislature
from the 7th district
Assumed office
January 4, 2017
Preceded by Nicole Fox
Personal details
Born (1984-09-02) September 2, 1984 (age 36)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Education University of Rochester (BA)
Pace University (MA)
Website vargasfornebraska.com

Tony Vargas (born September 2, 1984) is a member of the Nebraska Legislature. Vargas represents the 7th district, which covers all of downtown Omaha and much of southeastern Omaha.

Contents

Biography

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 is a former public school teacher. He previously served as an Americorps fellow through Teach for America.

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 senator Nicole Fox. Fox, a Republican, finished third in the nonpartisan primary, which saw Vargas and former senator John Synowiecki advance to the general election. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] Vargas defeated Synowiecki in the general election with nearly 62% of the vote. He is the first outright elected Hispanic legislator in Nebraska.

In 2018, Vargas was one of 59 individuals selected as a Presidential Leadership Scholar, a bipartisan national leadership program championed and led by President George W. Bush and President Bill Clinton. [7]

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). In 2019, Vargas was selected by the Council of State Governments (CSG) as a Henry Toll Fellow. The Toll Fellowship Program selects 48 of the nation's top officials from all three branches of state government to participate in one of the nation’s premier leadership development programs for state government officials.

In 2020, Vargas was named by the Council of State Governments (CSG) as an inaugural 20 Under 40 Leadership Award recipient, recognizing the outstanding work of 20 up-and-coming elected and appointed officials from across the country who not only exemplify strong leadership skills but have also demonstrated a true commitment to serving the citizens of their state/territory. [8] In 2020, Vargas was awarded the State Service Leadership Award by the America's Service Commissions (ASC), a nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing the 52 state service commissions across the United States and territories with the mission to lead and elevate the state service network. [9]

In 2021, Vargas was one of 24 individuals from across the nation selected to be part of the 2021 Civil Society Fellowship: A Partnership of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Aspen Institute. This Fellowship, aims to prepare and engage our country's next generation of community and civic leaders and problem-solvers from across the political spectrum to build a more civil society. [10]

Personal life

Vargas is married to his wife Lauren. He is a Catholic and resides in the Little Italy neighborhood of Omaha. He has two children, one boy and one girl, both born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. [11]

State Legislature

Tony Vargas has served on the Appropriations committee since 2017. In 2019, Vargas was elected by his peers, in a contested race, to the position of Vice Chair of the Executive Board, the nine member executive arm of the Legislature. in 2021, Vargas was re-elected by his peers to the position of Vice Chair of the Executive Board. He currently serves as the chair of the Legislature's Planning Committee, the long-term strategic planning committee for the Nebraska Legislature.

Electoral history

Nebraska Legislature District 7 Primary Election, 2016 [12]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Nonpartisan Tony Vargas 1,220 45.35
Nonpartisan John Synowiecki 745 27.70
Nonpartisan Nicole Fox 72526.95
Total votes2,690 100.00
Nebraska Legislature District 7 General Election, 2016 [13]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Nonpartisan Tony Vargas 5,244 61.75
Nonpartisan John Synowiecki 3,24838.25
Total votes8,492 100.00

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References

  1. Martin, Brent (September 6, 2017). "Sen. Vargas says fight for DACA program is personal (AUDIO)". Nebraska Radio Network. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  2. Walton, Don (July 6, 2016). "Tony Vargas may be Nebraska's Latino legislative voice". Lincoln Journal Star . Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  3. Knapp, Fred (May 4, 2016). "South Omaha Race Shows Jockeying For Legislature". Nebraska Educational Telecommunications . Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  4. "Synowiecki will try to regain South Omaha seat in Nebraska Legislature". Omaha World-Herald . May 18, 2015. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  5. Nohr, Emily (May 20, 2016). "Race between Synowiecki, Fox not close enough for automatic recount". Omaha World-Herald . Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  6. Walton, John (November 11, 2015). "New senator stakes out independent ground". Lincoln Journal-Star . Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  7. https://www.presidentialleadershipscholars.org/2018-class-of-presidential-leadership-scholars-announced/
  8. https://web.csg.org/tcs/2020/10/28/announcing-the-inaugural-csg-20-under-40-leadership-award-recipients/
  9. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fourteen-leaders-receive-national-recognition-from-americas-service-commissions-301137994.html
  10. https://www.civilsocietyfellowship.org/class-2021
  11. "Tony Vargas' Biography". Project VoteSmart. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  12. "NE Legislature 07 - Primary 2016". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  13. "NE Legislature 07 2016". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 23, 2017.