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Retiring Griffin begins dismantling campaign cash

Posted: February 4, 2014 - 3:48pm
U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., speaks to a crowd a Republican Party of Arkansas election watch party in Little Rock, Ark., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. Griffin won re-election. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)  AP
AP
U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., speaks to a crowd a Republican Party of Arkansas election watch party in Little Rock, Ark., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. Griffin won re-election. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

WASHINGTON — Since announcing in October that he won’t run for a third term, U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin has returned more than $145,000 in contributions to donors that helped him amass more than a $540,000 campaign war chest.

Griffin, R-Little Rock, raised $20,905 in the fourth quarter of 2013 – all of it coming in before his announcement on Oct. 21 that he would not be a candidate in 2014. Griffin’s campaign entered October with $530,975.27 cash on hand. The cash total shrank to $243,294.25 by year’s end.

Aside from the $145,690 in refunds, Griffin’s campaign contributed $65,200 to other Republican candidates and incurred $106,896.41 in campaign expenses that included staff, consultants, fundraising, advertising, travel, charity and other items.

The revenues and disbursements are detailed in a fourth quarter financial report submitted late Friday to the Federal Election Commission.

Griffin said Monday that he is in the process of closing out his campaign committee. He expects that most of the remaining funds will go to charity, Republican campaigns and a few ongoing campaign expenses.

“I haven’t decided exactly who will get what. Some is going to charities but I also have a lease on office space through most of the year,” Griffin said.

Griffin said he contacted contributors asking them if they wanted a refund — those that did got reimbursed. He does not expect many more will seek a refund.

As far as contributions to other candidates, Griffin said he is reviewing which Republicans to support. By the end of December, that included nearly 40 candidates across the country as well as in Arkansas.

Among the Arkansas contributions was: $4,000 to Asa Hutchinson for Governor, $4,000 to Rep. Rick Crawford of Jonesboro, $4,000 to Rep. Steve Womack of Rogers, and $2,700 to Tom Cotton’s Senate campaign.

Griffin’s campaign made four charitable contributions in the fourth quarter, according to his report. Our House in Little Rock received $1,000; Hearts & Hooves in Sherwood received $1,000; Cross Point Community Development in North Little Rock got $500; and $300 was contributed to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Griffin said he is likely to keep open his leadership PAC. The Diamond Political Action Committee has been relatively quiet, raising just $10,100 in the fourth quarter of 2013. The PAC also contributed to Hutchinson and Cotton, and ended the year with $1,433.39 cash on hand.

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