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New Mayors of WNC: Jack Horton of Franklin

Courtesy of Jack Horton
Jack Horton ran unopposed to become Franklin's new Mayor.

Jack Horton has been involved in local Western North Carolina politics since the 1970s. In November, he ran unopposed to become Franklin’s new Mayor. BRP's Lilly Knoepp spoke with Horton about his career and what he hopes to achieve in his new role. 

Here are some of the highlights of Horton’s career in the region: Horton was the first appointed Swain County manager in 1978.  He then served as county manager in Macon County from 1985 to 1991 before becoming the first appointed Haywood County manager in 1991. He stayed in that position for 15 years. Horton then managed nearby Caldwell County before heading back to manage Macon County in 2007 until his retirement in 2013.

Horton says that switch to the county manager form of government has changed the way that local governments are run in the region. Beyond that shift, counties have grown and developed. Now Horton says it’s the job of local government to improve infrastructure and community opportunities so that more young people can thrive in the region.

“I guess some of the biggest issues facing the town and our community is the fact that we are going to continue to grow. Franklin has been discovered,” said Horton. “During this recent real estate boom, a lot of people are looking for places to live in and around the mountains of Western North Carolina.

Hear the full interview with Horton above. Tune in every Monday morning at 7:45 AM to hear from another new mayor in Western North Carolina.

Lilly Knoepp is Senior Regional Reporter for Blue Ridge Public Radio. She has served as BPR’s first fulltime reporter covering Western North Carolina since 2018. She is from Franklin, NC. She returns to WNC after serving as the assistant editor of Women@Forbes and digital producer of the Forbes podcast network. She holds a master’s degree in international journalism from the City University of New York and earned a double major from UNC-Chapel Hill in religious studies and political science.
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