A Closer Look: Former Presidential Aide Griffin seeking NC3 seat - WNCN: News, Weather

A Closer Look: Former Presidential Aide Griffin seeking seat in Congress

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Taylor Griffin is one of several GOP challengers running against Rep. Walter B. Jones in the Third District primary Taylor Griffin is one of several GOP challengers running against Rep. Walter B. Jones in the Third District primary

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Taylor Griffin has worked with some of the most powerful people in Washington, DC.  Now the one-time aide to former President George Bush wants to go back to the nation's capitol, as a member of Congress representing North Carolina's Third Congressional District.

Griffin grew up in Wilson, and says he got involved in politics "about the same time I was old enough to drive a car". He continued fueling the interest while in college, and afterwards landed a job in the Washington, DC office of former North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms.

"Senator Helms taught me one important thing, that serving your constituents and standing by your principles are not mutually exclusive," Griffin said.  "You can be a principled conservative and also be effective at serving your constituents, and I think that is something Senator Helms did very well. He also taught me that constituents come first."

Griffin's critics call him a "Washington insider", citing his work with Helms and Bush, his time in the Treasury Department, and starting two consulting firms in the capitol city. Griffin refutes the claim, saying he spent a lot of time on weekends at home or even in Wilmington, where his parents have a home. "I never felt like I was living in Washington," he says. "I always felt like I was working in Washington, but my home and my heart were always here. I think as people talk to me and meet me they understand that."

North Carolina's Third Congressional District stretches from the NC-Virginia line into downtown Wilmington, and inland to counties like Greene, Pitt and Lenoir. It includes hundreds of miles of coastline and beaches that tourists visit every year as a large part of the state's economy.  With federal funding dwindling, Griffin looks at finding alternative options for renourishing and rebuilding those important resources.

"When the Army Corps of Engineers comes to dredge our inlets and our waterways, the places they deposit those dredge spoils can be the beaches," Griffin says. "They've been doing that in Carteret County. I think that simply having dredge spoils, when we have quality sand that we are dredging, put on the beaches is one cost effective way that we can make sure we are keeping our beaches nourished."

Griffin falls firmly in the camp of those who believes in repealing President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. Graham says the ACA is having a negative impact on healthcare, and on the country's economy. "The primary thing the economy needs is for the government to get out of the way," he says when talking about creating jobs and improving the economic outlook.  "The free market system has an amazing way, if left alone, of creating jobs. I think most business owners would agree with this. I don't meet any business owners who are asking for special favors for their business to grow. They don't want that. They say ‘if I'm going to grow, and create jobs, just leave me alone. Give me a simpler tax system. Give me fewer regulations and I'll go out and create the jobs."

Griffin and Al Novinec are running in the Third District GOP primary against Rep. Walter B. Jones, the ten-term incumbent from Farmville. Griffin believes there are distinct differences between him and the current office-holder.

"I am a principled conservative across the board," Griffin says. "I do believe in smaller government, and not just when it is convenient. I don't believe in regulating unpopular industries out of existence and having the free market for things that I like. I'm more focused on being effective for eastern North Carolina, whatever it takes to get the job done for eastern North Carolina, regardless of what my personal passions are. I think Congressman Jones is much more driven by his personal passions, and that comes at the detriment of eastern North Carolina.

Click here to see Taylor Griffin's campaign website: http://bit.ly/1kRO7oH

Copyright 2014 WECT. All rights reserved.

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