Rep. Tim Griffin (R-Ark.) will not run for reelection next year, he announced Monday, meaning there will be at least two open House seats up for grabs in Arkansas next year.
Griffin, 45, was first elected to the House as part of the 2010 tea party wave and had been thought of a possible candidate for statewide office. He served as an interim U.S. attorney for Arkansas from 2006 to 2007, but was never confirmed by the U.S. Senate in the wake of the Bush-era U.S. attorney firings scandal.
In a statement issued Monday morning, Griffin said it was an "honor" to serve in Congress, but that he made the decision with his family and wife, Elizabeth, to not run again. "It has been an agonizing and difficult decision involving much prayer, thought and discussion. We have decided that now is the time for me to focus intently on my top priority, my family, as Elizabeth and I raise our two young children."
During the government shutdown and the subsequent standoff between the House and Senate, Griffin was seen pushing a stroller with one of his young children in and out of closed-door meetings with the House Republican Conference.
Griffin's 2nd Congressional District encompasses part of Little Rock and its suburbs. His decision opens up yet another GOP-held House seat in the Natural State next year. Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) is running against Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) in the Senate race and former FEMA administrator James Lee Witt has expressed an interest in seeking the seat.
Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, called Griffin "the ultimate team player" in a statement, and said he'll miss his colleague "tremendously." He also vowed to ensure that another Republican is elected to fill the seat next year.