LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton resigning in November, will take position at Georgia Municipal Association

Published 3:07 pm Tuesday, October 4, 2022

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LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton will assume the role of Director of Governmental Relations for the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) on Nov. 28, 2022. In this full-time position, Thornton will lead the legislative advocacy team for GMA and will represent the interests of its member cities.  He will resign as mayor effective on Nov. 23.

The city council will schedule a special election, most likely to be held in March 2023, to select his replacement, according to a city of LaGrange press release. In the meantime, after the effective date of the resignation, Councilman Willie Edmondson will preside in his role as Mayor Pro Tem.

Thornton has practiced law in LaGrange for 25 years, and for the past 20 years has been a partner with the law firm of Thornton & Graham, P.C.  He served one term on the LaGrange City Council and has been Mayor of LaGrange for the past nine years.

“GMA is excited to welcome Jim to the team,” said GMA CEO and Executive Director Larry Hanson. “We are delighted to have someone of his caliber to lead our governmental relations team.  He has a keen intellect, broad knowledge of municipal issues, and a wealth of experience to draw upon. He is known for his ability to work effectively across all aisles, be a strategic thinker, and lead with a professional and respectful approach, all of which are invaluable in such an important position.He has a passion for how cities serve their residents and I know he will represent our members with commitment, integrity and positive results.”

Within GMA, Thornton has served on the Board of Directors, the Legislative Policy Council, and the Federal Policy Council.  He previously chaired the Municipal Government Policy Committee, co-chaired GMA’s Equity and Inclusion Commission, and most recently completed a term as President of the organization.

“I am very excited about this opportunity to join the great team at GMA as a professional advocate for all of Georgia’s 537 cities,” Thornton said. “This role will allow me to unite my skills as an attorney and my passion for local government and public service to both educate and advocate for the needs of Georgia’s cities and their residents. Cities provide the most accessible, responsive, and efficient form of government, and I look forward to sharing this message on their behalf.”

A graduate of LaGrange College and Emory University School of Law, Thornton previously chaired the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce and the Three Rivers Regional Commission. Thornton is currently a member of the state’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council and is a graduate of Leadership Georgia.