Griffin considering run for lieutenant governor


LITTLE ROCK — Congressman Tim Griffin, R-Little Rock,who announced in October that he would not seek re-election to his 2nd District seat, said Thursday he is considering a run for lieutenant governor of Arkansas.

“I have not made the decision final yet but it’s something I am considering and looking at,” Griffin said before boarding a plane in Washington, D.C., to return to Arkansas for the weekend.

Griffin is serving his second term in congress. The lieutenant governor’s office has been vacant since the resignation of Mark Darr last week.

When he announced his plans not to seek re-election, Griffin said he wanted to spend more time at home in Arkansas where his children, ages 3 and 6, live.

“I am excited about the fact that it would allow me to continue in public service back home,” Griffin said. “That’s a good balance that I’ve been seeking, so I haven’t made a final decision.”

He said several people have urged him to consider running for the office in recent weeks and he has discussed it with his wife, and expects them to discuss it further this weekend.

“When making a decision like this it’s something my wife has got to be on board with,” he said.

Two Republicans, Rep. Charlie Collins of Fayetteville and Andy Mayberry of Hensley, have said they plan to file to run for lieutenant governor. The only Democrat to announce his candidacy is Little Rock businessman John Burkhalter.

The resignation ended a difficult last few months for the embattled Darr, who dropped out of the 4th District congressional race in late August after reports surfaced of discrepancies in his campaign expenditure reports.

In late December, the Ethics Commission reprimanded the Republican lieutenant governor and fined him $11,000 for 11 violations of state ethics and campaign finance laws. The panel said it found evidence that Darr used campaign money to make about $31,500 in personal purchases, received about $3,500 in improper travel reimbursements, accepted $6,000 in campaign contributions that exceeded the individual limit and submitted campaign finance reports that omitted required information.

After calls for his resignation by Gov. Mike Beebe and state leaders in both parties, Darr announced on Jan. 10 that he planned to resign on Feb. 1. He said his resignation was intended to spare his family from the “toxic business of politics.”