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Meet Your Neighbor: John Thurston

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Family: I am married to the former Joanna Spann, and together we have five children: Brady, Brock, Brynn, Braci and Jaycie. Even though I’ve known Joanna since kindergarten, we became reacquainted at our 20th high school reunion. I grew up in the Sardis community. I was a 1991 graduate of Sheridan High School.

Occupation: I have recently been re-elected to the office of Commissioner of State Lands. My first term began in 2010. Due to term limits, this will be my final 4-year term. Prior to this, I was on staff at Agape Church in Little Rock. In 2009 I decided I needed to get involved in politics, and I won my first race.

Hobbies: Hunting, fishing and golf.

Three guests at my fantasy dinner: Jesus, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dream vacation destination: Montana.


Last book I read: The Bible, specifically the letters of the Apostle Paul.

Favorite sport or athlete: Football.

Cats or dogs? Dogs.

Favorite food or meal: Baked chicken, sweet potato and broccoli.

What fun fact would most people be surprised to learn about you? Prior to running for office in 2009, I had no political aspirations at all. Since the position was created in 1868, I am the very first Republican to hold this office.