Senator Thrasher currently represents Florida District 6, which includes all of St. Johns, Flagler and Putnam Counties, as well as Northern Volusia County. Prior to being elected to the newly-drawn Florida Senate District 6 seat, Senator Thrasher represented Florida Senate District 8 from 2009 to 2012. He also served as the Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. From 1998 to 2000, Senator Thrasher served as the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, championing historic legislation, such as “Three Strikes, You’re Out,” “10-20-Life,” “A+ Education Plan” and the largest tax cut in Florida history. Senator Thrasher was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1992 and was subsequently re-elected.
Among his many accolades, John served as a Florida co-chair for the George W. Bush for President campaign in 2004 and is a former chairman of the Board of Trustees of Florida State University. John was honored by having the FSU medical school building named after him.
John Thrasher began his political career in 1986 with his election to the Clay County School Board. He served as vice chairman, then chairman, of the board before running for the Florida House of Representatives. In 1992 he was elected to his first term as a state representative and was re-elected without opposition in 1994, 1996, and 1998. On November 17, 1998, the House of Representatives unanimously elected John Thrasher as Speaker of the House for the 1999 through 2000 term.
John grew up in Jacksonville and obtained his bachelors degree in business from Florida State University before joining the United States Army. He served first in Germany, where he received the Army Commendation Medal, and later in Vietnam, where he was awarded two Bronze Stars. John attained the rank of captain before his honorable discharge. John returned to Tallahassee and earned his law degree with honors from the Florida State University College of Law. He was in private law practice in Daytona Beach and Tallahassee for several years before returning to Jacksonville to serve as general counsel of the Florida Medical Association, a position he held for 20 years. John served as Of Counsel to the Jacksonville law firm of Smith Hulsey & Busey from 1996 to 2008. John was a partner of Southern Strategy Group, a Tallahassee-based governmental relations firm, from January 1, 2001 to May 1, 2009.
John and his wife, Jean, have three children and eight grandchildren.