John Horhn - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

John Horhn

John Horhn was born in 1955 in Goodman, Mississippi. When he was three weeks old, his family moved to Jackson where John has resided ever since.

He graduated from the Jackson Public School System, received his B.A. from Centre College of Kentucky where he has served on the Board of Trustees and been named as Alumnus of the Year .

He has done further study at Jackson State University in Community Leadership Development and is a graduate of the Governors' Center in strategic planning at Duke University.

In 1995 John was named a Henry S. Toll fellow with the Council of State Governments.

Married to the former Lydia Gail Cole, he and Lydia are the proud parents of two children.

Before being elected to the Senate, John served in a variety of positions. Fresh out of college he worked as a job developer for high school drop-outs and ran a cultural arts coalition from which arose the Farish Street Festival.

In 1981, John began a 12-year tenure with Mississippi State Government, first as a program manager for the Mississippi Arts Commission, then, in 1985, as the State Film Commissioner.

In 1988 he was tapped by Governor Ray Mabus to head the Governor's Office of Federal/State programs, overseeing a staff of 250 with an annual budget exceeding $150 million.

Following that, John served for three-and- a-half years as State Tourism Director.

John is currently serving his fifth term in the State Senate representing District 26, which includes parts of Hinds and Madison Counties. In the legislature, Senator Horhn has distinguished himself with a strong record on economic development.

He has sponsored legislation authorizing nearly $300 million in bond projects. These include loans for small businesses and first-time home-owners, a grant program for properties with historic and cultural value, as well as loans for businesses owned by minorities and women.

John has consistently made it his mission to see that black-owned businesses are given an opportunity to compete for business in the state.

When Nissan established a manufacturing facility in Mississippi, John led the effort to ensure that black-owned businesses were at the table. The result is that Mississippi now has two black-owned tier-one suppliers that service Nissan, as well as two major service providers that operate inside the Nissan facility itself.

Three out of four of these companies are Jackson-based and they employ more than 500 people.

Five years ago, Senator Horhn began an initiative with the gaming industry to encourage it to do more business with black-owned companies in Mississippi. At the end of 2004, black-owned businesses, most of which were based in Jackson, had racked up more than $20 million in sales of goods and services to casinos.

In private life, John works as a business development consultant. He is an accomplished actor, story-teller, and motivational speaker who often visits schools to read and perform for students.

A member of the Screen Actors' Guild, he has appeared in several feature films and made-for-tv movies.  

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