|20th Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas|
|Assumed office |
January 13, 2015
|Preceded by||Mark Darr (2014)|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Arkansas's 2nd district
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2015
|Preceded by||Vic Snyder|
|Succeeded by||French Hill|
|United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas|
December 20, 2006 – June 1, 2007
|President||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Bud Cummins|
|Succeeded by||Jane Duke|
John Timothy Griffin
August 21, 1968
Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.
|Branch/service||United States Army|
|Years of service||1996–present (reserve)|
|Unit||172d Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (May–August 2006)|
John Timothy Griffin (born August 21, 1968) is an American lawyer and politician serving as the 20th Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas since 2015. A member of the Republican Party, he previously was the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas between 2006 and 2007 and U.S. Representative for Arkansas's 2nd congressional district from 2011 to 2015. Griffin defeated Democrat John Burkhalter in 2014 and has served under Governor Asa Hutchinson since holding the lieutenant governorship. In summer 2020, Griffin announced his candidacy for the 2022 Arkansas gubernatorial election, but withdrew from the race in February 2021 to run for Arkansas Attorney General instead.
Early life and education
Griffin was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, and reared in Magnolia in Columbia County in southern Arkansas. He graduated from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, and in 1994 from Tulane Law School in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Early political career
Prior to 2004
Griffin worked from September 1995 to January 1997 with Special Prosecutor David Barrett in the investigation of former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Henry Cisneros. For two years after that he was the Senior Investigative Counsel for the House Committee on Government Reform.
In September 1999, he became Deputy Research Director for the Republican National Committee (for George W. Bush's election campaign); while in that position, he was a legal advisor for the "Bush-Cheney 2000 Florida Recount Team" (see Bush v. Gore). From March 2001 through June 2002 he was a special assistant to the Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff.
2004 presidential election
From June 2002 to December 2004, Griffin was Research Director and Deputy Communications Director for Bush's 2004 reelection campaign, a high-ranking position within the RNC.
In June 2007, Senators Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island asked the U.S. Justice Department to investigate whether Griffin led an RNC effort to suppress the African-American vote in Jacksonville, Florida, through caging during the 2004 election. Griffin called the allegations of voter suppression "absolutely, positively false" and there was no finding of any wrongdoing.
White House (2005–2006)
U.S. Attorney (2006–2007)
On December 15, 2006, the Justice Department announced that Griffin would be appointed interim U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, effective December 20, 2006, the date when the resignation of Cummins took effect.
Before a March 2006 revision to the PATRIOT Act, interim U.S. Attorneys had a 120-day term limit, pending confirmation by the Senate of a presidential nominee. The Attorney General makes interim appointments; after the revision, the Attorney General's interim appointees had no term limit, effectively bypassing the Senate confirmation process if the President declined to put forward a nomination. Griffin was among the first group of interim attorneys appointed by the Attorney General without a term limit. Gonzales's decision to bypass confirmation for Griffin particularly angered Arkansas's then Democratic senators, Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, who both stated that Gonzales promised them Griffin would go before the Senate for confirmation. Gonzales's decision not to do so prompted Lincoln and Pryor to join many of their Democratic colleagues to demand Gonzales's resignation or firing.
On May 30, 2007, Griffin resigned from his position effective June 1, 2007 with a tearful speech declaring that public service "not worth it. I'm married now and have a kid. I'm sorry I put my wife through this and I'm trying to move on."
Documents released by a subsequent congressional investigation showed that, in the summer of 2006, White House officials wanted a vacant slot in the U.S. Attorney's office in Little Rock so that Griffin could fill it. Prior to this, he was a top Republican researcher and aide to Rove. On February 16, 2007, ten days after McNulty testified that Cummins was dismissed and resigned under duress to create a vacancy for Griffin's appointment, Griffin announced he would not seek the presidential nomination to be U.S. attorney in Little Rock.
In September 2008, the Office of the Inspector General in the Department of Justice issued a report concluding that Cummins had not been removed for any reasons related to his performance, but rather to make a place for Griffin.
2008 presidential election
On May 31, 2007, The Washington Post reported speculation that Griffin was in discussions with the then-nascent presidential campaign of Fred Thompson for a top-level post. Instead, Griffin set up an office in Little Rock for Mercury Public Affairs, a New York City-based firm, part of the Omnicom Group, at which Griffin had worked as general counsel and managing director. (The Thompson campaign paid Mercury Public Affairs to have Griffin as an advisor.) Then, after a short period with Mercury, he started Griffin Public Affairs and the Griffin Law Firm.
In late May 2008, columnist Robert Novak reported that Griffin had been named as the RNC's director of research for the presidential campaign of Senator John McCain of Arizona. Griffin was assigned to direct opposition research, "although final arrangements have not been pinned down," Novak said. But Griffin said he was not going back to the Republican National Committee (RNC), and that he had not talked to anyone in the GOP's leadership structure or with the McCain campaign about that role.
U.S. House of Representatives
On September 21, 2009, Griffin announced that he was running for Congress, to replace Democrat Vic Snyder who stepped down after fourteen years in Arkansas' 2nd congressional district. He defeated the Democratic nominee Joyce Elliott, then the outgoing Majority Leader of the Arkansas Senate. Elliott's campaign highlighted Griffin's past controversies such as the Bush campaign's voter caging efforts and his being named one of the "Crooked Candidates of 2010" by the left-wing Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
Griffin won with 58% of the vote.
- Authority for Mandate Delay Act (H.R. 2667; 113th Congress) (H.R. 2667) – Rep. Griffin introduced this bill on July 11, 2013 in response to a July 2, 2013 announcement from the Obama Administration that they would be delaying one of the key requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly known as "Obamacare"). Their decision was that the requirement that all companies which employed more than 50 workers must offer an employee health insurance plan or pay a fine, scheduled to begin January 1, 2014, would now be delayed until 2015. This decision was immediately criticized for exceeding executive authority.
In response to the Obama Administration's decision, then House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced that Congress would need to approve any delay. When he explained why he had introduced the bill, Griffin argued that, although he believed the Obama Administration's unilateral decision to delay the mandate was illegal, he still believed delaying the mandate was a good way to save jobs and protect workers.
- Griffin, along with Rep. Ander Crenshaw and Rep. Candice Miller, introduced the Save Our Military Shopping Benefits Act in 2014. The bill would prohibit the military from closing or cutting commissary stores and exchanges on bases in the United States.
Griffin served on the following committees and subcommittees:
- Committee on Ways and Means
- Republican Study Committee
On January 16, 2014, House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security held a hearing with the head of Social Security and the Social Security inspector general. During the hearing, Griffin challenged statistics presented by Carolyn Colvin, the acting commissioner of the Social Security Administration. In her testimony, Colvin said that 99 percent of Social Security disability payments are correctly made without fraud.
Griffin was the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas in the 2014 elections. He defeated two Republican challengers in the primary election, both outgoing members of the Arkansas House of Representatives, Andy Mayberry and Debra Hobbs, taking 63 percent of the vote to Mayberry's 21 percent and Hobbs' 16 percent.
In the general election on November 4, 2014, Griffin defeated Democrat John Burkhalter in the lieutenant governor's race.
Griffin won re-election in the 2018 general election.
|Arkansas's 2nd Congressional District Republican Primary Election, 2010|
|Arkansas's 2nd Congressional District Election, 2010|
|Arkansas's 2nd Congressional District Election, 2012|
|Republican||Tim Griffin (inc.)||158,175||55.19|
|Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Republican Primary Election, 2014|
|Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Election, 2014|
- "Who is running for governor of Arkansas in 2022? Meet the candidates". Southwest Times Record. January 25, 2021. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
- Brantley, Max (February 8, 2021). "Tim Griffin abandons race for governor, to run for attorney general instead". Arkansas Times. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
- "Griffin returns to Hendrix". Hendrix College.
- Rushing, J. Taylor (June 20, 2007). "Senators seek inquiry into GOP's Duval acts". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
- Marisa Taylor; Margaret Talev (June 18, 2007). "Politics weakens Justice Dept. independence". McClatchy Newspapers. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
- Griffin's resume, DOJ emails released to the Senate Judiciary Committee Archived 2007-03-28 at the Wayback Machine, judiciary.house.gov, p. 15; accessed November 5, 2014.
- Sabin, Warwick. "End around: Senators question U.S. attorney appointment", Arkansas Times, December 28, 2007; retrieved July 19, 2007.
- "Justice Department Announces Appointment of J. Timothy Griffin as Interim United States Attorney" (PDF). Press Release. Department of Justice. December 15, 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 9, 2007. Retrieved May 28, 2007.
- Waas, Murray (May 10, 2007). "Administration Withheld E-Mails About Rove". National Journal. National Journal Group. Archived from the original on May 22, 2007. Retrieved May 28, 2007.
- Q & A from Committee for Bud Cummins Archived 2008-06-26 at the Wayback Machine (no date). United States House Committee on the Judiciary; retrieved May 18, 2007 (written responses by Bud Cummins to committee interrogatories, post-hearing).
- "J. Timothy Griffin sworn in as Interim United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas" (PDF). Press Release. Department of Justice. December 20, 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 9, 2007. Retrieved May 28, 2007.
- Satter, Linda (December 16, 2006). "Prosecutor post is filled in recess". Arkansas Democrat Gazette. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved April 4, 2007.
- Lincoln, Pryor say Gonzales should be replaced, FOX16.com; accessed November 5, 2014.
- Brantley, Max (May 30, 2007). "It's official". Arkansas Blog. The Arkansas Times. Archived from the original on June 3, 2007. Retrieved May 31, 2007.
- Jon Gambrell, Associated Press, "Griffin, wiping away tears, says public service is 'not worth it' after flap", June 14, 2007
- "E-mails lay out plan to dismiss U.S. attorneys". CNN. March 14, 2007. Retrieved March 12, 2007.
- Dan Eggen (April 17, 2007). "Interim Ark. U.S. Attorney Won't Seek Job: Former Rove Aide Says Senate Democrats Would Block Permanent Nomination". The Washington Post. p. A10.
- "An Investigation into the Removal of Nine U.S. Attorneys in 2006". United States Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General. September 2008. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
- Roth, Zachary (October 1, 2008). "Report Shows White House Engineered U.S. Attorney Firings". Talking Points Memo. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
- Eric Lichtblau, Eric Lipton (August 11, 2009). "E-Mail Reveals Rove's Key Role in '06 Dismissals". New York Times. Retrieved August 14, 2009.
- Shear, Michael D. and Dan Balz (May 31, 2007). "Thompson Bid Would Stir Up GOP Race". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 1, 2007.
- Andrew Zajac, "McCain aide: DOJ scandal 'nonsense'", Chicago Tribune, July 8, 2008.
- David J. Sanders, "Tim Griffin's proximity attracts lots of attention" Archived 2008-06-06 at the Wayback Machine, Arkansas News Bureau, May 28, 2008.
- Robert Novak, "McCain Won't Play by Obama's Rules", May 22, 2008
- "Ark. Business online media newspaper Arkansas News ebusiness research journal". ArkansasBusiness.com. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
- "Why George W. Bush's record matters less than Democrats would like it to". Slate Magazine. November 8, 2010. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
- "Arkansas Election Results". The New York Times.
- Griffin v Rule, thegreenpapers.com; accessed November 5, 2014.
- Profile, americansforprosperity.org, October 2009; accessed November 5, 2014.
- Kasperowicz, Pete (July 12, 2013). "House releases texts of health insurance mandate delays". The Hill. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
- Cannon, Michael F. "Yes, Delaying Obamacare's Employer Mandate Is Illegal". Cato Institute. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
- McConnell, Michael W. (July 8, 2013). "Michael McConnell: Obama Suspends the Law". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
- "Measure introduced to prevent military commissary closures" Archived 2014-02-11 at archive.today. Ripon Advance. February 10, 2014. (Retrieved 02-11-2014).
- Martin, Aaron (2014-17-20). "Griffin probes Social Security disability program". Ripon Advance. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
- "Arkansas Primary Election Results, May 20, 2014". KATV. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
- "Election results". results.enr.clarityelections.com. Retrieved December 24, 2019.
- Staff (January 5, 2011). "Ten Southern Baptists sworn in as new reps". Baptist Press. Archived from the original on December 26, 2014. Retrieved December 25, 2014.
- Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin official government site
- Tim Griffin at Curlie
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress