Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., pivoted from his pursuit of the governor’s office to Attorney General last Monday (Feb. 8). His departure from the GOP primary field for the state’s top post leaves Sarah Huckabee Sanders and current Attorney General Leslie Rutledge in the race.
Leon Jones, who heads the state’s Fair Housing Commission, said Thursday (Feb. 11) he plans to run for Arkansas Attorney General on the GOP ticket.
Griffin said his switch in the race was made after hearing from supporters.
“Well, a lot of listening, a lot of people, particularly my supporters encouraging me to continue to serve, but to serve in a different role. And I had looked at the AG race earlier, but there was just a lot of encouragement to run for Attorney General. Listened to my family, listened to lot of supporters, listened to the Lord. And at the end of the day, listening was a good idea,” Griffin tells Talk Business & Politics in his first in-depth interview since his announcement.
He said the AG’s post fits with his background, which includes a stint as U.S. Attorney, an attorney in the military for 25 years, and his work in Congress on the House Judiciary Committee.
Griffin said he does plan to make an endorsement in the governor’s race in the next few weeks. Based on his comments, it will likely be in support of Sanders.
“I will be making an endorsement and I have some strong feelings on that race. And I’ve had some great discussions with Sarah, so, but not today,” he said.
Griffin said he views the role of AG as being activist on some fronts in pushing back on federal encroachment of states’ rights.
“I think in this particular [Biden] administration, Attorney Generals are going to be the tip of the spear, fighting a lot of those battles through the courts. When there’s federal overreach there, we have a Constitution and everything that passes out of Washington – whether it be regulatory or statutorily – does not necessarily comport with the United States Constitution,” he said.
He also said two other planks in his platform for running for AG include support for law enforcement and cracking down on crime and fraud, particularly in the areas of Medicaid and consumer fraud.
You can watch Lt. Gov. Griffin’s full interview in the video below.