|20th Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas|
January 13, 2015
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Arkansas's 2nd district
January 3, 2011 - January 3, 2015
|United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas|
December 20, 2006 - June 1, 2007
|President||George W. Bush|
John Timothy Griffin
August 21, 1968
|Education||Hendrix College (BA)|
Pembroke College, Oxford
Tulane University (JD)
|Branch/service||United States Army|
|Years of service||1996-present|
|Rank||Colonel (United States)|
|Unit||United States Army Reserve|
172nd Infantry Brigade
|Awards||Meritorious Service Medal|
Army Commendation Medal (6)
Army Achievement Medal (5)
Combat Action Badge
John Timothy Griffin (born August 21, 1968) is an American politician and member of the Republican Party who is the 20th and current Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas, a post he has held since January 2015 under Governor Asa Hutchinson. Previously, Griffin was the U.S. Representative for Arkansas's 2nd congressional district from 2011 to 2015. As the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor in 2014 he defeated Democrat John Burkhalter. Griffin was also the interim United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas from December 2006 to June 2007 but was never confirmed by the United States Senate.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
Griffin won with 58% of the vote.
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 served on the following committees and subcommittees:
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 in the lieutenant governor's race the Democrat John Burkhalter, the former chairman of both the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission, a post once held by later Republican Governors Winthrop Rockefeller and Frank D. White, and the Arkansas Highway Commission. In the last week of the campaign, news broke that Burkhalter, as a young man, had worked many temporary jobs, including that of a male stripper in Little Rock using the designation "Metro Express". Burkhalter is since the owner of a piping company, with a wife and two daughters, both involved in competitive dance.
Griffin won re-election in the 2018 general election.
Griffin attended Immanuel Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist congregation in Little Rock. Griffin also currently serves as a senior advisor for communications and growth strategies at Purple Strategies, communications and marketing firm based in Alexandria, Virginia, whose clients have included British Petroleum and McDonald's.
|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|
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 2nd congressional district
|Party political offices|
| Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas
| Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas