Tim Griffin

Last updated
Tim Griffin
Rep Tim Griffin Official Photo.jpg
20th Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas
Assumed office
January 13, 2015
Governor Asa Hutchinson
Preceded by Mark Darr
Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives
from Arkansas's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 2011 January 3, 2015
Preceded by Vic Snyder
Succeeded by French Hill
United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas
In office
December 20, 2006 June 1, 2007
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Bud Cummins
Succeeded byJane Duke
Personal details
John Timothy Griffin

(1968-08-21) August 21, 1968 (age 51)
Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Griffin
Education Hendrix College (BA)
Pembroke College, Oxford
Tulane University (JD)
Military service
AllegianceFlag of the United States.svg  United States
Branch/serviceFlag of the United States Army.svg  United States Army
Years of service1996–present
Rank US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel
Unit United States Army Reserve
172nd Infantry Brigade [1]
Battles/wars Iraq War
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.


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. [ citation needed ]

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. [2] [3]

White House (2005–2006)

In April 2005, Griffin began working at the White House as Karl Rove's aide, with the title of Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director in the Office of Political Affairs. [4]

U.S. Attorney (2006–2007)

Portrait of U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin Tim Griffin.JPG
Portrait of U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin

In September 2006, after ending a one-year military mobilization assignment, Griffin began working as a special assistant to U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins in the Eastern District of Arkansas. [5]

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. [6] [7] [8] [9]

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. [10] 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. [11]

On May 30, 2007, Griffin resigned from his position effective June 1, 2007 [12] 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." [13]

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. [14] 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. [15]

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. [16] [17]

On August 11, 2009, The New York Times reported that previously classified White House emails showed that Karl Rove had lobbied for Griffin to be appointed Cummins's successor. [18]

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. [19] 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. [20] ) Then, after a short period with Mercury, he started Griffin Public Affairs and the Griffin Law Firm. [21]

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. [22] 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. [21]

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. [23] 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. [24]

Griffin won with 58% of the vote. [25]


Griffin won re-election with 55% of the vote, over former state representative Herb C. Rule III. [26]


In 2009, Griffin signed a pledge sponsored by Americans for Prosperity promising to vote against any Global warming legislation that would raise taxes. [27]

Legislation sponsored

In response to the Obama Administration's decision, then House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced that Congress would need to approve any delay. [28] 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. [28]

Committee assignments

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. [32]

Lieutenant Governor

2014 election

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. [33]

In the general election on November 4, 2014, Griffin defeated Democrat John Burkhalter in the lieutenant governor's race. [34]

2018 election

Griffin won re-election in the 2018 general election.

Personal life

Griffin attended Immanuel Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist congregation in Little Rock. [35] 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. [36]

Electoral history

Arkansas's 2nd Congressional District Republican Primary Election, 2010
RepublicanTim Griffin24,61061.69
RepublicanScott Wallace15,28538.31
Arkansas's 2nd Congressional District Election, 2010
RepublicanTim Griffin122,09157.90
DemocraticJoyce Elliott80,68738.27
IndependentLance Levi4,4212.10
GreenLewis Kennedy3,5991.71
Arkansas's 2nd Congressional District Election, 2012
RepublicanTim Griffin (inc.)158,17555.19
DemocraticHerb Rule113,15639.48
GreenBarbara Ward8,5662.99
LibertarianChris Hayes6,7012.34
Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Republican Primary Election, 2014
RepublicanTim Griffin109,85163.37
RepublicanAndy Mayberry35,70320.60
RepublicanDebra Hobbs27,80316.04
Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Election, 2014
RepublicanTim Griffin479,67357.16
DemocraticJohn Burkhalter324,62038.64
LibertarianChristopher Olson32,2574.20

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  10. Satter, Linda (December 16, 2006). "Prosecutor post is filled in recess". Arkansas Democrat Gazette. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-04-04.
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  20. Andrew Zajac, "McCain aide: DOJ scandal 'nonsense'", Chicago Tribune, July 8, 2008.
  21. 1 2 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.
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U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Vic Snyder
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
French Hill
Party political offices
Preceded by
Mark Darr
Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas
2014, 2018
Most recent
Political offices
Preceded by
Mark Darr
Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas