Who is running for Arkansas attorney general? Meet the candidates running to replace Leslie Rutledge

From Staff Reports

Candidates for Arkansas attorney general in the 2022 election include Arkansas Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin and Leon Jones, executive director of the Arkansas Fair Housing Commission. Both seek the Republican nomination.

As of Feb. 9, 2021, there are no candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for attorney general.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, a Republican, is term-limited. She is running for Arkansas governor in 2022.

The candidates

Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin

Arkansas Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin speaks during the Q&A Meeting at the American Legion Ellig-Stoufer Post 31 on Tuesday, Sept. 8 in Fort Smith.

During the Bush Administration, in 2006-2007, Griffin served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas and previously as Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Political Affairs for President George W. Bush at the White House.

"I have prosecuted those who have broken our laws. I fought the Obama-Biden agenda as a member of Congress, and I'll fight to stop the Biden-Harris administration's infringement on the rights of Arkansans," Griffin said in his Feb. 8 announcement. "And just as I have done as your lieutenant governor, I will find ways to cut waste, save taxpayer money, and deliver results for the people of Arkansas."

Griffin grew up in Magnolia, a fifth-generation Arkansan and the youngest son of a minister and teacher. He was first elected lieutenant governor of Arkansas on Nov. 4, 2014, and is currently serving his second four-year term.

From 2011-2015, Griffin served as the representative for Arkansas’s 2nd Congressional District. 

Griffin has served as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve, Judge Advocate General's Corps, for over 24 years and currently holds the rank of colonel. He has graduated from Magnolia High School, Hendrix College, Tulane Law School, and attended graduate school at Oxford University in England. His wife Elizabeth is from Camden, and they live in Little Rock with their three children, Mary Katherine, John, and Charlotte Anne. They are members of Immanuel Baptist Church.

Lieutenant governor race:Who is running for lieutenant governor in Arkansas? Meet the candidates

Leon Jones

Leon Jones

Leon Jones, the Arkansas Fair Housing Commission executive director, has announced his bid for the Republican nomination as the next Arkansas attorney general.

"I am ready and excited to take on the role as the Chief Legal Officer of the Natural State, to partner with our brave law enforcement at all levels of government, to protect our children, protect consumers, and to defend Arkansas in our courts," Jones says at his campaign Facebook page.

Ensuring the state's law enforcement agencies are properly funded and preserving the rule of law and the Constitutions of both the United States and of Arkansas two of his top priorities, he adds. Jones points out his experiences in both the private and public sectors have prepared him to step into the AG position.

A seventh-generation Arkansan, Jones is a graduate of Pine Bluff High School and earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff in 1995. He earned his law degree in 2006 from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.

In 2015, Jones was appointed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson as director of the Arkansas Department of Labor. He was the first Black person to lead this agency in its 100-year history. Four years later, Hutchinson appointed Jones executive director of the Arkansas Fair Housing Commission. In both roles, Jones says he introduced innovation and implemented technology that created efficiencies and tax savings.

He and his wife, Tori, also an attorney, live in Little Rock. They have three children: Leon Jones III, Sydney, Tori, and Bailey.