Obama names Howorth a TVA board nominee

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – Former Mayor Richard Howorth says he’s honored to be nominated to the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Board of Directors.
President Barack Obama announced Thursday his intention to put Howorth’s name forth for the post, which will require full Senate confirmation.
Howorth says he’s not sure about the timetable but expects more information soon.
“I’m honored to be asked, and I’m happy to serve,” said the owner of Square Books.
As a two-term mayor, Howorth was chairman of the authority that oversees the Oxford Electric Department, which is a TVA customer.
He’s 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 Tennessee Valley Authority service area.
Mississippi’s U.S. senators also voiced their pleasure at Obama’s announcement.
“I am delighted that the president has finally selected a Mississippian to serve on the TVA board,” said Wicker. “Richard should have no trouble getting confirmed by the Senate. He will represent the ratepayers and the interests of Mississippi in a capable way.”
Wicker’s word “finally” refers to a strong head-wind Obama experienced with various nominees since he took office in January 2008.
At one point, Sen. Thad Cochran held up four TVA nominations to protest Mississippi’s lack of representation on the policy-making panel. He lifted that hold in early May 2010.
Cochran said Thursday he supports the selection of Howorth.
“Mississippi should have representation on the TVA board of directors,” Cochran said, “and Richard’s understanding of Mississippi and the TVA should make him a valued member of that body.”
Wicker noted that for more than 70 years, TVA has played an important role in promoting infrastructure and economic development in north Mississippi and the surrounding Tennessee Valley area, with Tupelo holding the distinction as “the first TVA city.”
He also emphasized that the ties between Mississippi and TVA “have been realized through representation on the TVA Board of Directors.”
Tupeloan Glenn McCullough Jr. is a former chairman of the TVA board. In 2005 it expanded from three full-time members to nine part-time, which Wicker said created the opportunity for wider representation.

Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com.