Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin on Tuesday endorsed Gov. Asa Hutchinson in his bid for re-election against Republican primary challenger Jan Morgan.
“I’m going to be supporting the Governor, no question. Look, I think what he’s doing on this transformation stuff is, first of all, it’s my passion, and I am so excited that he’s aggressively pursuing this. [I’m] absolutely supporting the governor,” Griffin said in a Talk Business & Politics Daily interview.
Morgan had closely aligned herself with Griffin in a recent interview stating that she would let the Lt. Governor “out of the attic.” Griffin said he has not been “hiding in the attic” and was thankful that Hutchinson had let him play a large role in his administration from initiatives involving Common Core, Department of Human Services efficiencies, military affairs, and overall state government transformation.
“Look, I’ve met Ms. Morgan on several occasions, talked with her. She’s been nothing but kind and gracious to me. Look, the Governor has utilized me extensively. In fact, the Governor has asked me to assist on what I see are some of the biggest challenges that Arkansas has,” Griffin said.
Hutchinson faces Morgan in the May 22 primary. The winner faces either Democrat Jared Henderson or Leticia Sanders and Libertarian Mark West in the November general election. Griffin does not have a primary opponent, but faces Democrat Anthony Bland and Libertarian Frank Gilbert in November.
Griffin discussed at length his role and efforts in moving forward with initiatives to transform state government by capitalizing on technology and efficiency, while downsizing government employment through attrition and retraining. Hutchinson has made it a priority and has recently rolled out programs such as online vehicle registration and a goal to reduce the number of state agencies that report to him to fewer than 20.
Griffin said in all phases of government a re-thinking of how agencies and business is structured should be an ongoing, non-linear process.
“Transformation will determine what our tax code looks like, what our regulatory structure looks like, whether we can fund transportation, whether we can get to a tax code ultimately where the Governor wants to go that is competitive with other states. All of that relates to transformation… We can save, I believe over the long run, we can save hundreds of millions of dollars a year, a year,” he said.