Bennie G. Thompson

Congressman Bennie G. Thompson is an elected member of the United States House of Representatives from Mississippi’s 2nd Congressional District. Congressman Thompson claimed his seat in the House on April 20, 1993. He is a native of Bolton, Mississippi, and considers it an honor to walk the path Mississippi civil rights icons paved decades ago. Congressman Thompson understands the challenges many families in Mississippi face each and every day.

Serving his 15th term in the United States House of Representatives, Congressman Thompson has spent his entire career fighting to improve the lives of all people. He is the longest-serving African American elected official in the State of Mississippi and the lone Democrat in the Mississippi Congressional Delegation. He began his grassroots political activism being a civil rights champion through the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) while a student at Tougaloo College. He organized voter registration drives for African Americans throughout the Mississippi Delta on behalf of the organization before graduating and following in the footsteps of his mother by becoming a schoolteacher.

Congressman Bennie G. Thompson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tougaloo College in Political Science and a Master of Science degree in Educational Administration from Jackson State University. From 1969 to 1972, Thompson served as alderman in his hometown, before serving as the city’s mayor from 1973 to 1980. During his time as mayor, Thompson improved the city’s infrastructure by paving roads, fixing the water and sewer systems, and repairing and renovating dilapidated houses; all while spearheading the construction of city hall and re-evaluating the town’s real estate.

Thompson was a founding member of the Mississippi Association of Black Mayors where he instituted policies and provided services benefiting Bolton’s underserved. The selfless service Thompson provided for his hometown was increased when he was elected as a Hinds County supervisor, a position he held from 1980 until 1993. The then-supervisor’s record of being a pragmatic local servant was embraced by constituents in Mississippi’s most populous county.

In 2000, Thompson was a lead author and sponsor of a measure that created the National Center for Minority Health and Health Care Disparities. Congressman Thompson served on the Agriculture, Budget, and Small Business Committees before assuming the top Democratic position on Homeland Security in 2005. Congressman Thompson was promoted to serve as the first-ever Democratic Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee by his colleagues.

On July 1, 2021, Speaker Nancy Pelosi named Rep. Thompson Chairman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. Under Chairman Thompson’s leadership, the bipartisan committee conducted a thorough investigation of the facts, circumstances, and causes of the January 6th attack and worked to ensure nothing like that attack ever occurs again. The Select Committee presented its findings about a multi-part effort to overturn the 2020 election, reflecting the body of evidence the committee has amassed more than 1,000 interviews and hundreds of thousands of records.

Most recently, Congressman Thompson received the Chairman’s Award during the 2023 NAACP Image Award. The honor recognizes Thompson’s advocacy for civil rights. Congressman Thompson is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity (Gamma Rho – Tougaloo College) and a lifetime member of the Asbury United Methodist Church in Bolton, Mississippi. He has been married to his college sweetheart, London Johnson of Mound Bayou, Mississippi for 54 years. The couple has one daughter, one granddaughter, and one grandson. Thompson is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys gardening, reading, and listening to the blues.