Ex-Bush Aide Griffin to Seek N.C. House Seat

Ex-Bush Aide Griffin to Seek N.C. House Seat

By Scott Conroy - October 3, 2013

Taylor Griffin, a longtime Republican operative and former White House aide, announced Thursday that he will challenge U.S. Rep. Walter Jones Jr. in North Carolina's 3rd District.

In a statement announcing his campaign, Griffin characterized himself as a “principled conservative” in the coastal district where Mitt Romney defeated President Obama by 17 points in the 2012 presidential election.

“I am running for Congress to return our bedrock conservative Eastern North Carolina values to Washington,” Griffin said. “The most liberal Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives should come from San Francisco, not from Eastern North Carolina.”

A native of Wilson, N.C., Griffin was a campaign operative on both of George W. Bush’s presidential runs and served as an aide in the Bush White House and in the Treasury Department.

During the 2008 general election, Griffin was dispatched to Alaska where he led the McCain campaign’s public relations effort there on behalf of vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, and also defended her against ethics charges she was facing in the state legislature.

In 2010, Griffin founded Hamilton Strategies -- a Washington, D.C.-based communications consulting firm.

Griffin will seek to position himself to the ideological right of Jones, who ran for Congress unsuccessfully as a Democrat in 1992 following the death of his father, U.S. Rep. Walter Jones Sr. He then switched his party affiliation to Republican and was elected in the GOP wave year of 1994.

He has in recent years become a target of conservatives after breaking with the GOP rank-and-file on issues such as the conduct of the Iraq War; he was also one of just four House Republicans to vote against Paul Ryan’s budget plan in 2011. 

Scott Conroy is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @RealClearScott.

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