about the office
Arkansas Secretary of State John Thurston, was first elected as Secretary in November of 2018, after serving eight years as Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands. John is the past chairman of the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council. He is also the past president of the Western States Land Commissioners Association. John was born in Little Rock, Arkansas and was raised in Saline County, attending and graduating from Sheridan High School in 1991. He attended Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas before graduating from Agape College in Little Rock with a diploma in Biblical Studies. John was a licensed minister and was a Certified Religious Assistant in the Arkansas state prison system.
By law, the Secretary of State serves as Chair of the Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission and the State Board of Election Commissioners, as well as a member of the Capitol Zoning District Commission, the Capitol Parking Control Committee, and the Information Network of Arkansas Board. He is also a member of the Board of Apportionment, which oversees the redistricting of legislative districts.
As Secretary of State, Secretary Thurston is also member of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS). He serves on the Elections, Business Services, International Relations, and Cyber Security Committees of that body.
John now resides in East End, Arkansas with his wife Joanna and their five children. He is also an avid outdoorsman.
John’s vision for the future is that the Secretary of State along with Arkansas government will lead the nation in the area of ethics and accountability.