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Griffin explains 'operational pause' in political career

By Christina Huynh

This article was published January 31, 2014 at 10:17 a.m.

rep-tim-griffin-left-of-arkansas-is-tugged-along-by-his-son-john-as-he-and-other-republican-lawmakers-arrive-oct-8-on-capitol-hill-for-a-strategy-session

Rep. Tim Griffin (left) of Arkansas is tugged along by his son, John, as he and other Republican lawmakers arrive Oct. 8 on Capitol Hill for a strategy session.

U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, who is not seeking re-election for his 2nd District seat, wrote in an essay published this week that he is putting his career on "operational pause" to spend more time with his young children.

After announcing in October that he would not run this November, Griffin said he had no plans to run for another political office and that he may seek another position one day, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

Griffin, a Republican serving a second term representing the central Arkansas district, wrote in an essay published Wednesday on a political newspaper's website RollCall.com that he decided not to run in order to spend more time with his family.

Griffin said the back-and-forth commute between Washington and Arkansas had rendered him unable to "help with homework" or attend birthdays and sports games of his two children, Mary Katherine, 6, and John III, 3.

"Still, every time I walk out the door now, even if I'm just getting the newspaper, John asks me 'Dad, are you coming back?" Griffin wrote.

Griffin said he has not decided what he will do "professionally" when his term ends but said he will continue serving as a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve. He added that he will still be "heavily involved in the political process."

"Down the road, when my children are a little older and my wife and I believe it's right for our family, I fully intend to seek public office again," he said. "This is simply 'operational pause,' as we say in the Army."

Three Republicans — state Rep. Ann Clemmer of Benton; Little Rock businessman French Hill; and retired U.S. Army Col. Conrad Reynolds — and one Democrat, former North Little Rock mayor Patrick Henry Hays, have announced their bids for Griffin's seat.

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FarmBoy says... January 31, 2014 at 4:21 p.m.

It is a shame that the GOOD ones quit. I hope he comes back soon. We need him in politics to keep some of the other BOZO's in line.

Have a good time with your kids.

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Fdworfe says... January 31, 2014 at 9:48 p.m.

It’s simple and common courtesy to take Rep. Griffin at his word; that his family is uppermost in making the decision to withdraw for now from political positioning. However, the thought comes inevitably to mind that Washington politics these days—especially in the neighborhood of Tea Party Republican politics—is so unpleasant, prickly and frustrating that most reasonable well-meaning seat warmers are wondering if it’s all worth it. Can’t help thinking that the unappreciated status of those sincere beings on Capitol Hill—and there are some—is somewhat parallel to the nation’s oft-maligned police officers who risk their lives every day under much worse circumstances on a whole lot less pay and almost never with applause. Life is hard and it’s certainly not fair, but we go on. Yet there has to be some kind of compelling attraction on the banks of the Potomac. Just look at the list of aspirants chomping at the bit!

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