A Republican, he was first elected in November 2010, taking office in January 2011, and was reelected in November 2014 to a second term. Thurston was previously a licensed minister and was a Certified Religious Assistant in the Arkansas state prison system. He was the first Republican to be elected as Land Commissioner since the office became elective in 1874.
In 2014, Thurston was elected as the president of the Western States Land Commissioners Association.
The organization"s winter conference was held in Little Rock that year. 2010 general election
2014 general election.