- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 13, 2016

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - “Congressman Ray Thornton led a distinguished career that benefited Arkansas from public service as an elected official to leading our state’s top universities. His dedication to the people of Arkansas leaves a lasting impact. I join with all Arkansans as we mourn the passing of Congressman Thornton and keep his family and loved ones in our thoughts and prayers.” - Republican U.S. Senator John Boozman


“I am saddened to hear of the death of one of Arkansas’s great leaders, Congressman Ray Thornton. I remember hearing my grandfather, John Tull from Lonoke, speak highly of him and the work they did together. Congressman Thornton left a lasting legacy on the people and the quality of this state. As a congressman and through his time spent at multiple universities, he inspired us all with his dedication to public service. Congressman Thornton will live on in our memories.” - Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate and former U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge


“I was saddened this morning to hear of the passing of Ray Thornton. Ray was a long-time dedicated public servant who served Arkansas in many ways, including as attorney general of Arkansas, a United States congressman, justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court, and president of both Arkansas State University and the University of Arkansas. His legacy is inspirational to the next generation of leaders.” - Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin, a former U.S. Congressman.


“Justice Ray Thornton spent his entire life devoted to serving his state and country and was the definition of a public servant having served in the U.S. Navy, as Attorney General of Arkansas, as Congressman representing two districts, President to both Arkansas State University and the University of Arkansas and Associate Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. I have read and researched many of Justice Thornton’s opinions over the years, and I am appreciative of Justice Thornton’s years of service, including the impact he had on the office I currently hold. I extend my heartfelt sympathy and prayers to his loved ones.” - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.


“Ray was a consummate Arkansan and public servant. From serving as a United States Congressman, Arkansas Supreme Court Justice, Arkansas Attorney General to President of our two largest land grant universities, he always put the people of Arkansas first and served as a true leader. Tina and my thoughts are with Betty and the rest of the Thornton family. May God grant them peace and comfort during this difficult time.” - Arkansas Treasurer Dennis Milligan


“Sadly, today we learned of the passing of the first Chair of the Arkansas Lottery Commission, Ray Thornton. The first meeting of the Arkansas Lottery Commission was held on May 5, 2009, during which the first action by the nine appointed Commissioners was the selection of Ray Thornton as Chair of the Lottery Commission. In his role as Chair, Ray Thornton guided the work of the new enterprise with great care, energy, and enthusiasm, and under his leadership, the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery commenced operations in record-breaking time and generated revenues well in excess of predicted levels. The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery wishes to thank Mr. Thornton for his many contributions to the Lottery and to the students of Arkansas. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”- Bishop Woosley, Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Director

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