U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, who is stepping down at the end of his current term, says he is considering a run for lieutenant governor of Arkansas.
The 2nd district Republican had cited family concerns when he announced last year he would not run for re-election. In an interview with KUAR, Griffin said the lieutenant governor’s position would be ideal.
“I’ve been talking with my wife about it and we’re considering it. It’s not final, but it excites me because it would allow me to continue public service, but at the same time be in Arkansas, which is what my decision not to run for re-election to Congress was all about,” Griffin said.
“I’ve got a three-year-old and a six-year-old and obviously being back in Arkansas would allow me to watch them grow up which has been the challenge with Washington.”
Duties of the lieutenant governor are also not as hectic as other state office holders. Responsibilities are to oversee the Arkansas Senate when it is in session and serve as acting governor when the governor is out of state.
If Griffin announces he will run, it would shake up the lieutenant governor’s race. State Representatives Charlie Collins and Andy Mayberry are already seeking the Republican nomination. Former Highway Commissioner John Burkhalter is the only Democratic candidate announced at this point.
There is no incumbent, after Mark Darr's resignation took effect last Saturday. He stepped down after admitting to ethics violations.
A spokeswoman for the Democratic Party of Arkansas, Lizzy Price, responded to the news with this statement:
The only thing that Tim Griffin brings to the table is the dysfunctional politics of Washington. Griffin has voted to put thousands of Arkansans out of work by shutting down the government, and he repeatedly voted against pipeline safety measures that could have prevented the disaster that turned Mayflower residents’ lives upside down. John Burkhalter is not running as a career politician but to be a full-time advocate to create jobs in Arkansas by attracting new companies to invest in our state and helping Arkansas companies expand. When it comes to the Lieutenant Gubernatorial candidate that is best for Arkansas, Burkhalter is the clear choice.
Griffin was elected to Congress in 2010 and easily won re-elected in 2012. Before that he served as an aide to White House advisor Karl Rove during the tenure of George W. Bush. He was also U.S. Attorney for the eastern district of Arkansas between 2006 and 2007.