LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – One of the leading contenders challenging for the Republican nomination for governor in Arkansas has announced his withdrawal from that race to enter a different contest.
In a surprising announcement Monday, Lt. Governor Tim Griffin said that he was no longer looking to replace Gov. Asa Hutchinson in 2022 but would rather be running to be the state’s next attorney general.
Griffin was the first candidate to enter the field for the GOP nomination back in August of 2019. He is currently in his second term as the lieutenant governor.
In a statement, Griffin said that while he had been “overwhelmed” by the support he had seen for his gubernatorial bid, he felt he could do more for Arkansas, “in a different capacity.”
“Since announcing my campaign for governor last year, I’ve been overwhelmed by the incredible support I have received from all corners of the state. While I believe Arkansans are ready for my message of bold, conservative leadership, my conversations with friends and supporters have persuaded me that at this time, I can do more for Arkansas in a different capacity. I have prayed about this decision with my family and I have listened.
Today I am announcing my campaign for Attorney General of Arkansas. We need an Attorney General who will back law enforcement, stand for law and order by cracking down on crime and corruption, and fight the liberal agenda of the Biden/Harris Administration in court. As a former U.S. Attorney and an Army JAG officer for the past 25 years, I have prosecuted those who have broken our laws. I fought the Obama/Biden agenda as a member of Congress and I’ll fight to stop the Biden-Harris administration’s infringement on the rights of Arkansans. And just as I have done as your Lt. Governor, I will find ways to cut waste, save taxpayer money, and deliver results for the people of Arkansas. I humbly ask for your prayers and support as I seek the office of attorney general.”
Griffin was set to challenge Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in the Republican primary.
Sanders entry into the race brought an increase in national attention, as well as an early endorsement by former Pres. Donald Trump for his one-time spokesperson.
Before serving as lieutenant governor, Griffin was a two-term U.S. Representative for the 2nd District in Arkansas. He also served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas from 2006 to 2007 and worked in the George W. Bush White House as a special assistant to the president.
Leslie Rutledge released a statement concerning Griffin’s pivot toward the Attorney General spot saying:
“Tim Griffin is a fierce advocate for Arkansas’s conservative values—our military, law enforcement, and rule of law. Having been the Attorney General for over 6 years, I personally know the importance of the role in which every decision I make impacts 3 million Arkansans daily and the enormous responsibility I have to proactively protect and defend our constitutional rights against the aggressive liberal agenda of the Biden-Harris Administration, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. I wish Tim and his family the best.”
Sarah Huckabee Sanders took to Twitter to to extend support also.
“Tim Griffin has been a strong voice for Arkansas and I look forward to working with him to unite our party and make our state better. I wish Tim and his family the very best.”