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See also: "Republican Party presidential primaries, 1996

Lugar ran for the Republican nomination for President "in 1996. He declared his candidacy on 19 April 1995 in Indianapolis. The primaries and caucuses began in January 1996. He ran on a campaign slogan of "nuclear security and fiscal sanity", but his campaign failed to gain traction.[31]

He came in 7th in the "Iowa caucuses on 12 February with 4%, and 4th in the "New Hampshire primary on 20 February with 5%. In the Delaware primary on 24 February he also won 5%, and in the Arizona and North Dakota primaries on 27 February he came in last with 1%. He was on the ballot in seven of the nine contests on "Super Tuesday on 5 March, winning 1% in Colorado, Connecticut and Maryland, 2% in Massachusetts, 3% in Maine and Rhode Island and 14% in Vermont, which was the best result he managed, though he still only came in 4th. He quit the race on the next day, 6 March. Lugar's fellow senator, and eventual Republican nominee, "Bob Dole, had won all nine contests and Lugar endorsed him.[32]

He remained on the ballot in a number of states, winning 2% of the vote in Florida, then 1% each in Oregon, Illinois, Ohio and California, 5% in Pennsylvania and 1% in North Carolina and West Virginia. He finished sixth overall, with 127,111 votes, or 0.83%, though he did not win any contests or delegates. In retrospective, "David Corn of "Mother Jones called his presidential campaign "ludicrous".[33]

Political positions[edit]

Richard Lugar meeting with actress "Ashley Judd


Lugar's 2007 rating from "NARAL was 40%.[34] His 2007–2008 rating from the "National Right to Life Committee was 85%.[35]

Agricultural reform[edit]

As Chairman of the "Agriculture Committee, Lugar built bipartisan support for 1996 federal "farm program reforms, ending 1930s-era federal production controls. He worked to initiate a "biofuels research program to help increase U.S. utilization of ethanol and combustion fuels, and led initiatives to streamline the "U.S. Department of Agriculture, reform the "food stamp program, and preserve the federal "school lunch program.


Lugar believes that the U.S. sanctions on "Cuba have failed and wrote to President Obama that "additional measures are recast a policy that has not only failed to promote "human rights and democracy, but also undermines our broader security and political interests".[36] He supports the "Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act (S.428), which would lift the restrictions on U.S. citizens visiting Cuba that have been in place since the early 1960s.[37]


Lugar takes a "conservative approach to economics. He voted for "Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001.[38] He voted against the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.[39]

Gun control[edit]

Lugar is also a supporter of gun control, and has supported a number of gun legislations and weapons bans. Lugar has an F rating from the "National Rifle Association of America.[40] He has an F rating from Gun Owners of America and a 53% positive rating from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Handgun Violence.

Health care reform[edit]

Lugar opposed President Barack Obama's health reform legislation, voted against the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in December 2009,[41] and voted against the "Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.[42]


Lugar has a generally "liberal stance on immigration, supporting the "DREAM Act during the "Obama administration and the McCain–Kennedy Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill under the "Bush administration, both of which died in Congress. Both were described by critics as "amnesty".

Iraq War[edit]

On June 25, 2007, Lugar, who had been "a reliable vote for President Bush on the war", said that "Bush's Iraq strategy [is] not working and... the United States should downsize the military's role".[43]

Lugar's blunt assessment has been viewed as significant because it showed the growing impatience and dissatisfaction with President Bush's strategy in Iraq. After Lugar finished his remarks, Senate Majority Whip "Richard Durbin (D-IL), a sharp critic of the war, praised Lugar's "thoughtful, sincere and honest" speech, which Durbin said was in "finest tradition of the U.S. Senate".[44] Durbin urged his Senate colleagues to take a copy of Lugar's speech home over the Fourth of July break and study it before returning to work.[44] Senate Majority Leader "Harry Reid said, in reaction to Lugar's speech: "When this war comes to an end, and it will come to an end, and the history books are written, and they will be written, I believe that Sen. Lugar's words yesterday could be remembered as a turning point in this intractable civil war in Iraq".[45]

Two days later, on June 27, 2007, Lugar said that Congressional measures aimed at curtailing U.S. military involvement in Iraq – including "so-called timetables, benchmarks" – have "no particular legal consequence", are "very partisan", and "will not work".[46]

Judicial nominees[edit]

Lugar believes that judicial confirmation decisions should not be purely partisan. His view is if an appointee is properly qualified for the position by their education, integrity, and other similar factors, that they should be confirmed by the Senate. Lugar introduced President George W. Bush's appointee, now Chief Justice John Roberts, to the Senate at the beginning of Roberts' confirmation process and was instrumental in securing votes to confirm Roberts for the Supreme Court. Lugar was the first Republican senator to announce his support for President "Barack Obama's first "Supreme Court nominee "United States Circuit Court of Appeals Judge "Sonia Sotomayor["citation needed] and also voted in favor of his second Supreme Court nominee "Solicitor General "Elena Kagan.["citation needed]

LGBT issues[edit]

Lugar holds a socially conservative approach on the LGBT issue. He voted for the "Federal Marriage Amendment, limiting the definition of marriage to one man and one woman.[47] However, he has also voted in favor of the "Matthew Shepard Act, which expanded the federal hate crime statutes to include sexual orientation and gender identity.[48] In October 2010, Lugar voted against repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy—which prevented gays and lesbians from serving openly in the armed forces.["citation needed] Although Senator "Joe Lieberman of "Connecticut announced on November 18, 2010, that Lugar promised to vote to repeal the policy the next time it comes up for a vote,[49] Lugar voted against "DADT repeal in both the cloture[50] and final votes on December 18, 2010.[51]

Nuclear stockpile[edit]

Senators "Sam Nunn and Lugar leaving the White House in 1991 after briefing President "George H. W. Bush on the Nunn-Lugar legislation

Lugar has been influential in gaining Senate "ratification of "treaties to reduce the world's use, production and stockpiling of "nuclear, "chemical, and "biological weapons. In 1991 he initiated a partnership with then-"Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman "Sam Nunn aiming to eliminate latent "weapons of mass destruction in the former "Soviet Union.[5] To date, the "Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program has deactivated more than 7,500 nuclear "warheads. In 2004, Lugar and Nunn were jointly awarded the "Heinz Awards Chairman's Medal for their efforts.[52] He was an important figure in trying to get the "New START Treaty approved (which passed 71-26).[53]


In October 2008 Lugar and "Joe Biden, his partner in the Committee on Foreign Relations, received the "Hilal-i-Pakistan (Crescent of Pakistan) Award from the government of "Pakistan for their continued support of the country. In July 2008 Lugar and Biden introduced a plan that would give $1.5 billion in aid per year to support economic development in Pakistan.[54]

Electoral history[edit]

Electoral history of Richard Lugar
Indianapolis mayoral election, 1967[55]
Party Candidate Votes %
"Republican Richard Lugar 72,278 53.3
"Democratic "John J. Barton (incumbent) 63,284 46.7
Indianapolis mayoral election, 1971[55]
Party Candidate Votes %
"Republican Richard Lugar 155,164 60.5
"Democratic John Neff 101,367 39.5
U.S. Senator of Indiana (Class 3), 1974
Party Candidate Votes %
"Democratic "Birch Bayh (incumbent) 889,269 50.7
"Republican Richard Lugar 814,117 46.4
"American Don L Lee 49,592 2.8
U.S. Senator of Indiana (Class 1), 1976
Party Candidate Votes %
"Republican Richard Lugar 1,273,833 59.0
"Democratic "Vance Hartke (incumbent) 868,522 40.2
"Independent Don L Lee 14,321 0.7
"U.S. Labor David Lee Hoagland 2,511 0.1
U.S. Senator of Indiana (Class 1), 1982
Party Candidate Votes %
"Republican Richard Lugar (incumbent) 978,301 53.8
"Democratic "Floyd Fithian 828,400 45.6
"American Raymond James 10,586 0.6
U.S. Senator of Indiana (Class 1), 1988
Party Candidate Votes %
"Republican Richard Lugar (incumbent) 1,430,525 68.1
"Democratic Jack Wickes 668,778 31.9
"U.S. Senator of Indiana (Class 1), 1994
Party Candidate Votes %
"Republican Richard Lugar (incumbent) 1,039,625 67.4
"Democratic "Jim Jontz 470,799 30.5
"Libertarian Barbara Bourland 17,343 1.1
"New Alliance Mary Catherine Barton 15,801 1.0
"U.S. Senator of Indiana (Class 1), 2000
Party Candidate Votes %
"Republican Richard Lugar (incumbent) 1,427,944 66.6
"Democratic David L. Johnson 683,273 31.9
"Libertarian Paul Hager 33,992 1.6
"U.S. Senator of Indiana (Class 1), 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
"Republican Richard Lugar (incumbent) 1,171,553 87.4
"Libertarian Steve Osborn 168,820 12.6
"Independent Mark Pool (write in) 444 0.0
"Independent John H. Baldwin (write in) 294 0.0
Republican US Senate Primary, 2012[56]
Party Candidate Votes %
"Republican "Richard Mourdock 403,268 60.6
"Republican Richard Lugar (incumbent) 262,388 39.4

Awards and honors[edit]

Lugar has received numerous awards, including Guardian of Small Business, the Spirit of Enterprise, Watchdog of the "Treasury, and 47 "honorary doctorate degrees. In 2001 Lugar received the Democracy Service Medal of the "National Endowment for Democracy.[57] In June 2012 he was conferred with the "Order of Lakandula by President "Benigno S. Aquino III for his contributions to the enhancement of the Philippine-US alliance and friendship.[58]

Lugar was knighted as a Knight Commander of the "Order of the British Empire (KBE) for his efforts to reduce Weapons of Mass Destruction and supporting NATO.[59] Lugar was awarded the "Grand Cross of the Order of Merit, from Germany, in 2013 for his work on fostering transatlantic cooperation.[60] In 2014, Lugar received the Golden Laurel Branch award, the highest honor given by the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Lugar was recognized for his contributions to Bulgaria's accession to NATO.[61]

On August 8, 2013, President "Barack Obama named Lugar as a recipient of the "Presidential Medal of Freedom. The citation in the press release read as follows:

Richard Lugar represented Indiana in the United States Senate for more than 30 years. An internationally respected statesman, he is best known for his bipartisan leadership and decades-long commitment to reducing the threat of nuclear weapons. Prior to serving in Congress, Lugar was a Rhodes Scholar and Mayor of Indianapolis from 1968 to 1975. He currently serves as President of the Lugar Center.[62]

In August 2016 "President "Petro Poroshenko of "Ukraine awarded Richard Lugar with the highest award for foreigners - "Order of Liberty.[63]

In November 2016 he was awarded the 2016 "J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding[64]

Outside activities[edit]

Lugar is a member the Indiana Society of the "Sons of the American Revolution[65] as well as a member of the Society of Indiana Pioneers, based on his descent from very early settlers in the state.[66]

He joined the Rotary Club of Indianapolis in 1957 and spoke at the club annually during his time in the U.S. Senate. He remains an active Rotarian.[67][68] On February 16, 2013, Lugar was named the Rotarian of the Century.[69]

He served on the Board of Directors of the "National Endowment for Democracy from 1992 to 2001.[70]

Lugar is a member of the board of the "International Foundation for Electoral Systems, an organization involved in international elections.[71]

Lugar is a member of the board of the "Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI).

Lugar is on the Board of Selectors of "Jefferson Awards for Public Service.[72]

The Lugar Center[edit]

After the conclusion of his career in the Senate, Lugar established "The Lugar Center, a nonprofit public policy institution located in Washington DC.[73]

Under the leadership of Lugar, the Lugar Center seeks to become a prominent voice in many of the global issues that defined the Senator's work in Congress. Among these are Global Food Security, WMD Nonproliferation, Foreign Aid Effectiveness, and Bipartisan Governance. Since its inception in January 2013, the Lugar Center has served as a source of education and awareness on these pertinent issues.

Some of the Center's initiatives include the following: working in conjunction with the "McCourt School of Public Policy at "Georgetown University to establish the Bipartisan Index, partnering with the Arms Control Association to establish the Bipartisan Nuclear and WMD Policy Dialogue Project, and compiling a comprehensive selection of bibliographical resources for researchers and policymakers interested in global food security.

In addition, the Lugar Center was awarded a grant by the Delegation of the European Union to conduct policy research regarding transatlantic cooperation. The grant permitted the Center to partner with the "German Marshall Fund of the United States to work on bolstering trans-Atlantic energy security and economic cooperation, particularly in relation to the "Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

In January 2015, the University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tank & Civil Societies Program named the Lugar Center a “Best New Think Tank”.

Richard G. Lugar Center for Public Health Research[edit]

A biological research facility in "Tbilisi, "Georgia, is named for Lugar in honor of his efforts to reduce "nuclear, "chemical, and "biological weapons around the world. The Richard G. Lugar Center for Public Health Research is a Georgian biological research facility established with technical assistance from the U.S. "Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) to contain and house dangerous pathogens and support international research efforts. This and other upgraded bio-threat reduction facilities in the region are designed to stop diseases like "plague and "African swine fever from spreading globally.[74]["citation needed][75]

Lugar, utilizing the "Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program (CTR) which helped "former Soviet Union states dismantle "weapons of mass destruction after the "Cold War, worked with the country of "Georgia on biosafety, biosecurity and biosurveillance efforts through CTR’s Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP). The main goal was to improve the biosafety, biosecurity, disease surveillance, and establish the Central Public Health Reference Laboratory.[76]

In 2012 Georgian authorities renamed the facility the Richard G. Lugar Center for Public Health Research; it belongs to and is run by the Georgian "National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC). In 2014, then-U.S. "Ambassador to Georgia at the time, "Richard Norland, signed an agreement with then-"Georgian Prime Minister "Irakli Garibashvili to transfer custody of the Center to the NCDC during the 2014 World Congress on Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Science & Consequence Management. At the invitation of the Georgian government, a contingent of U.S. scientists from the U.S. "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Global Disease Detection Program, and the U.S. "Walter Reed Army Institute of Research are co-located in the facility. They work collaboratively alongside their Georgian counterparts.[77][78][79]

Personal life[edit]

Lugar married Charlene Smeltzer on September 8, 1956. The couple have four sons and thirteen grandchildren.[7]

He is a member of the "United Methodist Church.


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  28. ^ Transcript of Final Presidential Debate
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  77. ^ "Georgia to assume control of Lugar Center for Public Health at World CBRN Congress". BioPrepWatch. 5 June 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
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  79. ^ "Tbilisi's new biolab to be owned by the NCDC". Democracy & Freedom Watch. 10 May 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

"United States Senate
Preceded by
"Vance Hartke
"U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Indiana
Served alongside: "Birch Bayh, Dan Quayle, Dan Coats, "Evan Bayh, "Dan Coats
Succeeded by
"Joe Donnelly
Preceded by
"Chuck Percy
Chairperson of the "Senate Foreign Relations Committee
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Chairperson of the "Senate Agriculture Committee
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Preceded by
Tom Harkin
Chairperson of the "Senate Agriculture Committee
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Chairperson of the "Senate Foreign Relations Committee
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Political offices
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Party political offices
Preceded by
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"Republican nominee for "U.S. Senator from "Indiana
("Class 3)

Succeeded by
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Preceded by
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"Republican nominee for "U.S. Senator from "Indiana
("Class 1)

"1976, "1982, "1988, "1994, "2000, "2006
Succeeded by
"Richard Mourdock
Preceded by
"Bob Packwood
Chairperson of the "National Republican Senatorial Committee
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Honorary titles
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Most Senior "Republican "United States Senator
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) )