GMA President

President Thornton

Mayor Jim Thornton has served the city of LaGrange since 2013 and first joined city government as a councilmember in 2009. He was elected third vice president of GMA in 2018 and has served as second and first vice president in the years leading up to his election as president.


During his tenure, Mayor Thornton has never stopped looking for opportunities for improvement, from shaving seconds off fire department response time to actively promoting equity and inclusion. He has also prioritized investments in the future and residents’ quality of life, whether it be infrastructure, relationships between residents and law enforcement or economic development.

LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton is sworn in as GMA’s new president.
LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton is sworn in as GMA’s new president.

As the COVID-19 pandemic created uncertainty and downturns for many cities, Mayor Thornton led LaGrange through the storm. He served as a calm, trustworthy voice for residents during an unsettling time by ensuring people had accurate, useful information about testing, treatment and vaccines. He convened leaders from the public and private sector to identify key community needs in a time of crisis, all while pushing the city forward.

“GMA has been fortunate to benefit from Mayor Thornton’s wisdom for several key functions, and all of our member cities are fortunate to have him leading our association,” said GMA Executive Director Larry Hanson. “Mayor Thornton has been a member of the association’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors and has chaired GMA’s Federal Policy Council and Legislative Policy Council.”

Mayor Thornton has also chaired the association’s Member Services Advisory Council and currently serves on the board of the Georgia Municipal Employee Benefit System. Mayor Thornton’s work as a co-chair of the GMA Equity and Inclusion Commission has contributed to actions that bear witness to the principles of justice, equality and fairness. He has also chaired the association’s Member Services Advisory Council, and Mayor Thornton was also selected as a member of the Governor’s COVID-19 Municipal Advisory Committee.

GMA is proud to have Mayor Thornton at the helm.

Read Mayor Thornton’s Acceptance Speech