Former Oxford, Miss., Mayor Richard Howorth said Friday he is eager to return to public service with a seat on the Tennessee Valley Authority board, but the 60-year-old Democrat said he doesn’t have an immediate agenda for the federal utility.
Howorth, who owns one of the leading independent book stores in Oxford, was nominated by the Obama White House this week to fill the lone vacancy on the 9-member TVA board.
“TVA’s long standing history is quite successful,” Howorth said. “There are many challenges for TVA right now, but I’ve got a learning curve to undergo before I start thinking about what my personal role might be (on the TVA board).”
Howorth served as Oxford’s mayor for eight years and is the founder and owner of Square Books in Oxford.
If his 5-year appointment to the TVA board is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, he fill the vacancy created when Howard A. Thrailkill, a 71-year-old retired businessman from Huntsville, Ala., completed his term on the TVA board in December. Howorth would be the only member of the TVA board from Mississippi —one of seven states served by the federal power utility.
Howorth served two terms as Oxford’s mayor from 2001 to 2009, during which time he was chairman of the authority overseeing the Oxford Electric Department. He also served eight years as a director and officer of the North Mississippi Industrial Development Association, an economic development consortium made up of power association directors and mayors of cities in 29 Mississippi counties in the TVA service area.
He is a former president and chairman of the board of the American Booksellers Association, the primary trade group for book store retailers.
In his announcement of the nomination of Howorth and others for top federal positions, President Obama praised Howorth and the other appointees for their “considerable talents.”
“I am proud to nominate such impressive individuals to these important roles,” Obama said in a statement released by the White House late Thursday.