Rich Nugent

Rich Nugent
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 11th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Kathy Castor
Succeeded by Daniel Webster (elect)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 5th district
In office
January 3, 2011  January 3, 2013
Preceded by Ginny Brown-Waite
Succeeded by Corrine Brown
Sheriff of Hernando County, Florida
In office
Preceded by Tom Mylander[1]
Succeeded by Al Nienhuis[2]
Personal details
Born (1951-05-26) May 26, 1951
Evergreen Park, Illinois
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Wendy Nugent
Children 3
Residence Spring Hill, Florida
Alma mater Saint Leo University (B.A.)
Troy University (M.P.A.)
Profession Sheriff
Religion Methodist
Military service
Service/branch Illinois Air National Guard
Years of service 1969–1975

Richard B. "Rich" Nugent (born May 26, 1951) is the U.S. Representative for Florida's 11th congressional district. He is a member of the Republican Party. He used to be the Sheriff of Hernando County, Florida. On November 2, 2010 Richard Nugent defeated Democratic nominee James Piccillo, to replace retiring Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite. Nugent is a member of the Tea Party Caucus. On November 2, 2015, Nugent announced that he will leave Congress at the end of his term (January 3, 2017).[3]

Early life, education, and early law enforcement career

Nugent was born on May 26, 1951. He is a native of Evergreen Park, Illinois,[4] a suburb of Chicago.[5] His father was a steel worker and his mother was a homemaker.[6]

After high school Nugent joined the Illinois Air National Guard for six years. He then continued serving as a police officer in the city of Romeoville, Illinois.[7] After serving as a police officer in Romeoville for 12 years, Nugent and his family moved to Hernando County, Florida in 1984, where he joined the Hernando County Sheriff's office as a deputy.[7]

Nugent graduated from St. Leo College, located in St. Leo, Pasco County, Florida with a Bachelor of Arts Degree.[8] He went on to earn a Master of Arts Degree from Troy State University.[6] In 1991 Congressman Nugent graduated from the FBI National Academy.[4]

Sheriff of Hernando County

Nugent was elected Sheriff of Hernando County in 2000, defeating James E. "Eddie" McConnell.[9]

Election results

He was elected Sheriff in 2000 and was re-elected in 2004 and 2008.[10] In 2000, Nugent was endorsed by incumbent Sheriff Tom Mylander. In 2004, he was endorsed by the St. Petersburg Times

Sheriff Nugent
2000 Hernando County Sheriff election[11][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Rich Nugent 31,204 49.0
Democratic Eddie McConnell 29,334 46.1
Independent Michael Robinson 3,088 4.9
2004 Hernando County Sheriff election[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Rich Nugent (Incumbent) 48,771 61.6
Democratic Eddie McConnell 30,372 38.4
2008 Hernando County Sheriff election[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Rich Nugent (Incumbent) 62,807 73.6
Democratic Luke Frazier 22,153 26.0
Independent Michael Robinson 334 0.4

U.S. House of Representatives

2010 election

Republican Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite decided not to run for re-election in the 5th Congressional District of Florida, due to health concerns. She asked Nugent to run for her seat.[15] Nugent won the Republican primary and was endorsed during his campaign by former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee,[16][17] and by several Florida newspapers, including the Orlando Sentinel, Tampa Bay Times, and the Tampa Tribune.[18]

Nugent beat Tea Party favorite Jason Sager in the primary and won against Democrat Jim Piccillo in the general election. The New York Times had rated this race as solidly Republican.[19] The Ocala online newspaper reported that In the 5th Congressional District, Nugent swept past Democrat Jim Piccillo, a political newcomer from Lutz, receiving 67 percent of the vote to 33 percent.[20]


In his first two months in Congress he co-sponsored 29 pieces of legislation, including H.R. 2 – Repeal of the Health Care Law Act, H.R.25 – The Fair Tax Act of 2011, H.R. 49 – American Energy Independence and Price Reduction Act, H.R. 121 – Congressional Budget Accountability Act, H.R. 127 – to deauthorize appropriation of funds to carry out the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, H.R. 144 – Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act of 2011, H.R. 154 – Defund the Individual Mandate Act, Hr. 177 – Death Tax Repeal Act, H.R. 178 – Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act, H.R. 333 – Disabled Veterans Tax Termination Act and H.R. 42` – To eliminate automatic pay adjustments for Members of Congress. Nugent has also co-sponsored H.J. Res.1 – Proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States.[21]

Spending cuts

Nugent is against what he terms out of control spending presently happening in Washington. He opposed the $700 billion bailout by President George W. Bush, a temporary fix for de-regulation of the banking and finance industries, two unfunded Bush-era wars, and a decades-long wage decrease. He also opposed the Obama Administration's $862 billion stimulus package.

Tax Reform

Nugent signed on as a co-sponsor of H.R. 25, better known as "The Fair Tax". This legislation introduced by Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA) would abolish the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), repeal the federal income tax, and replace it with a transparent tax on consumption.[22]

In 2010 Nugent signed a pledge sponsored by Americans for Prosperity promising to vote against any Global Warming legislation that would raise taxes.[23]

Health Care Act

Nugent opposed the passage of President Barack Obama's health care legislation and has vowed to work for its repeal. He has stated that he is open to listening to anybody's plan to save and reform Medicare so long as benefits are completely unchanged for those 55 and up.[24]

Committee assignments

Nugent serves on the Committee on House Administration.[25] Nugent formerly served on the House Committee on Rules .[26] In January 2015, Nugent was removed from that committee, in an apparent retribution for voting against John Boehner as House Speaker.[27]

Nugent belongs to several House caucus groups, including the Congressional Sportsman's Caucus,[28] The Constitution Caucus,[29] The Military Family Caucus,[30] the Congressional Cement Caucus, and the Tea Party Caucus.

Personal life

In 1975, Rich married Wendy Nugent and they have three boys. The Nugent family have been members of the First United Methodist Church of Spring Hill since 1985.

On November 2, 2015, Nugent announced that he would leave Congress at the end of his term on January 3, 2017.[31] Among the reasons given for leaving office, Nugent cited a desire to spend more time with family: “After five years of living out of a suitcase, saying goodbye almost weekly to my beloved wife, and seeing pictures of the grandkids instead of spending more of that quality time with them, the tug of being apart from family has just become too great."[32]


  1. Malernee, Jamie (2000-10-22). "Each candidate using higher crime numbers". Retrieved 2012-05-07.
  2. "Meet Al Nienhuis, Hernando's new top cop – Tampa Bay Times". Retrieved 2012-05-07.
  3. "Congressman Rich Nugent announces intent to step down from Congress". 2015-11-02. Retrieved 2015-11-02.
  4. 1 2 "2012 Election: Presidential, National & Local Candidates, News, Results, Polls". Retrieved 2012-05-07.
  5. Archived January 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. 1 2 "Richard Nugent (R-Fla.) – The Washington Post". Retrieved 2012-05-07.
  7. 1 2 "Congressman Richard Nugent". 2012-01-17. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
  8. "History | Saint Leo University". 1999-08-24. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
  9. "Hernando: Keep Nugent as sheriff". 2004-10-26. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
  10. "Meet Rich – Home – Rich Nugent for Congress". 2010-05-22. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
  11. "Tampa Bay, Florida news | Tampa Bay Times/St. Pete Times". Retrieved 2012-05-07.
  12. "St. Petersburg Times Online: Hernando County news". 2000-11-08. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
  13. "Hernando County, FL Sheriff Race – Nov 02, 2004". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
  14. "2008 GENERAL ELECTION REPORT" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-05-07.
  15. "Nugent jumps ahead in GOP race in 5th Congressional District – Tampa Bay Times". Retrieved 2012-05-07.
  16. "Featured Endorsements – Endorsements – Rich Nugent for Congress". Retrieved 2012-05-07.
  17. "Huck PAC – Candidates". Retrieved 2012-05-07.
  18. "Newspaper Endorsements – Endorsements – Rich Nugent for Congress". Retrieved 2012-05-07.
  19. Brown, Theresa (2010-12-10). "Florida 5th District Race Profile – Election 2010 – The New York Times". Retrieved 2012-05-07.
  20. Thompson, Bill. "Marion County congressional roundup 2010". Retrieved 2012-05-07.
  21. "Bill Summary & Status". Retrieved 2012-05-07.
  22. Archived June 2, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  24. "Issues – Rich Nugent for Congress". Retrieved 2012-05-07.
  25. "Committee on House Administration". Retrieved 2012-05-07.
  26. "House Committee on Rules – Members of the Committee on Rules". Retrieved 2012-05-07.
  28. "Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus Leaders Set for 112th Congress | congressional sportsmen's foundation". 2011-01-05. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
  29. "New Constitutional Caucus Defends Tenth Amendment". Human Events. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
  30. "Congressman Rich Nugent announces intent to step down from Congress". 2015-11-02. Retrieved 2015-11-02.
  31. "Congressman Rich Nugent announces intent to step down from Congress". 2015-11-02. Retrieved 2015-11-02.
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ginny Brown-Waite
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 5th congressional district

January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2013
Succeeded by
Corrine Brown
Preceded by
Kathy Castor
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 11th congressional district

January 3, 2013 – present
Succeeded by
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Kristi Noem
R-South Dakota
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Steven Palazzo
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