Nicholas Horton

Founder & CEO

A lifelong Arkansan, Nic has done political and policy work in roughly half the country, ranging from Maine to Montana. His original research and analysis has been highlighted in The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, Forbes, National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, and Townhall, among other national outlets. Nic has also appeared on numerous talk radio shows across the country.

Starting in the political world volunteering for local in Arkansas campaigns, Nic eventually founded and led The Arkansas Patriot, one of the leading conservative news sites in the South. Much of Nic’s work focused on holding local governments and elected officials accountable on wasteful spending, lack of transparency, and tax hikes. Partnering with local concerned citizens, Nic played an instrumental role in defeating numerous local tax increases at the ballot.

Nic later became the editor of The Arkansas Project, the largest policy news site in Arkansas, where he covered state issues ranging from criminal justice policy and tax reform to Medicaid expansion and occupational licensing.

Nic’s early career as a journalist and Medicaid policy enthusiast led him to the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA). Starting as the lone research fellow at FGA, focusing on Obamacare and Medicaid, Nic was quickly promoted to Research Director. Over the next five years, he built the department from the ground up by recruiting, training, and developing top-notch talent. Nic’s team members regularly were recruited and promoted by other departments in the organization which was openly recognized as a key asset for the company and an indication of his high ability to develop talent. During his tenure, he published more than 50 major research studies.

During his tenure at FGA, Nic also served as an on-the-ground lobbyist in Arkansas where he was directly responsible for nearly 100 policy wins in the state (Previously, the organization had never achieved any policy wins in Arkansas). These wins range from implementing Medicaid work requirements—which made Arkansas the first and only state in the country to do so—to reforming the state’s archaic independent contractor rules to make it easier for Arkansans to find flexible work.

Nic has testified before legislative committees in nearly a dozen states, including in Arkansas and bigger states like Pennsylvania.

Spurred by his passion for Arkansas and solving his home state’s generational problems, Nic took a giant leap of faith in 2022 to pursue his decades-old dream of running his own policy organization. In August of 2022, Opportunity Arkansas was officially incorporated with the state of Arkansas. OA works to solve generational problems—like poverty, dependency, crime, and failing schools—by simplifying government.

Nic also launched his for-profit research firm, Red Truck Strategies, in 2022 to allow him to continue utilizing his multi-state and federal policy expertise. The firm provides research, data, and strategic consulting services, primarily for national conservative non-profits.

Nic resides in Conway, Arkansas, with his wife Leah and two children Clark and Clara. The Hortons are active members of The Summit Church.

When he is not writing a policy piece or chasing his kids, Nic enjoys gardening, any good home improvement project, and storytelling. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration and a Master of Business Administration, both from Harding University.

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