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Griffin may run for SoS

Thursday, Jul 20, 2017

* Mark Maxwell at WCIA

Sources close to the recruiting effort say Josh “J.C.” Griffin, a 5-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, has impressed party leaders and is the leading contender to run for Secretary of State.

WCIA caught up with Griffin in Springfield and asked him about reports that he is working to build a statewide campaign.

“I think it’s premature to say whether or not I’m running for anything,” Griffin said. “But I think the organizations and the counties that I’ve been visiting over the past few months, we’ve had good conversations about what needs to happen and what needs to change.”

Griffin enlisted in the Air Force 2007 and fought in combat during the Iraq War. After leaving the military in 2012, he worked for Norfolk Southern Railway before taking a job in Governor Pat Quinn’s administration.

It’s still not totally clear whether Secretary White is running for reelection. I think he’ll do it, but he said a while back that he’d announce in a couple of weeks and then didn’t.

* From Griffin’s LinkedIn page, which is pretty devoid of specifics

Professional expertise: Business Development and Training Management, Change Management and Legacy Affairs, Government & Legislative Relations and Organizational Leadership Management.

* Pic

Anybody know much about him?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Montrose - Thursday, Jul 20, 17 @ 11:51 am:

    All I know is that I saw that headline and thought “Ken Griffin is running for SoS?!?!”

  2. - Lance Mannion - Thursday, Jul 20, 17 @ 11:52 am:

    He’s not a Madigan flunky, not 80 plus years old & didn’t promise not to run again.

  3. - Mattman - Thursday, Jul 20, 17 @ 11:53 am:

    love to see former military getting involved in politics; they are true servants, America’s heroes, America’s best!

  4. - wndycty - Thursday, Jul 20, 17 @ 11:57 am:

    On Linked in we have 21 mutual friends 17 of which are are active in Democratic/progressive politics. Majority are south suburban, which makes sense, since he is from Olympia Fields.

  5. - The Captain - Thursday, Jul 20, 17 @ 11:57 am:

    The article lacked an explanation for why the former Democrat and former Quinn staffer now wants a statewide Republican nomination. Seems kind of important, I’m interested to know and I would have to imagine skeptical Republican primary voters are wondering the same.

  6. - Kyle Hillman - Thursday, Jul 20, 17 @ 12:08 pm:

    I had the same reaction as Montrose. Why would Ken Griffin want SOS.

  7. - Anon - Thursday, Jul 20, 17 @ 12:38 pm:

    I don’t think Secretary White will be running again. The Grand Jury met this week on Candace Wanzo for new charges of embezzlement from the state. That was a questionable hire considering her history with previous embezzlement charge. Then there is the Wheeler v Piazza case pending against SOS Police command staff. That would be enough for me to hang up my hat if I were in his shoes.

    Of course, Secretary White enjoys the most squeaky clean image of any Illinois politician I can think of, so maybe those things won’t effect him much.

  8. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jul 20, 17 @ 12:40 pm:

    Ummmm……has anyone seen his DD214?
    Why is he wearing his National Defence Service Medal on his lapel?
    Maybe this an old pic before he got his Air Force Combat Action Medal.
    Maybe Airforce is different but in the Navy although it’s technically okay it was rather frowned upon to wear medals on civilian clothing

    Not saying stolen valor here but after McCann I am sure cautious.
    My immediate response was one of suspicion.
    My apologies if he’s legit. No disrespect intended

    But he might want to use a different photo if it caused this reaction.

  9. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 20, 17 @ 12:48 pm:

    The oppo dump on this guy is going to be stellar. If you like fiction, his LinkedIn page is a great place to start.

  10. - Boone's is Back - Thursday, Jul 20, 17 @ 12:58 pm:

    Never heard of the guy. There are plenty waiting in line for that spot…

  11. - TopHatMonocle - Thursday, Jul 20, 17 @ 1:02 pm:

    I only know one thing about this guy, which is that he will not be the Secretary of State.

  12. - Fax Machine - Thursday, Jul 20, 17 @ 1:03 pm:

    He’s a Pat Quinn IDOT hire. Even though no indication it was in any way patronage, just keep repeating “Pat Quinn IDOT hire” and that will keep him under 40%

  13. - GV - Thursday, Jul 20, 17 @ 1:05 pm:

    @Honeybear, questioning what that medal is as well. At first glance I thought it was a NDSM, but the proportions don’t line up. Also, I can only speak for the Army, but it is allowed to wear miniature medals on civilian clothing in the same manner you would wear full size medals on your uniform. I have a set of mine, they look nice, and aren’t a cartoon version like whatever he is wearing, which is decidedly not the authorized miniature medal of any military decoration.

  14. - Mean Gene - Thursday, Jul 20, 17 @ 1:07 pm:

    He needs to lose the fire watch badge. Salty war dogs like myself just think it looks needy, and in no way impressive.

  15. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 20, 17 @ 1:34 pm:

    Wow that was a head line grabber. Then you read the article and say oh well

  16. - anon2 - Thursday, Jul 20, 17 @ 1:34 pm:

    > He’s not a Madigan flunky, not 80 plus years old & didn’t promise not to run again.

    All I know about Jesse White is that every time I have to go for a renewed license, or had to get a title for my vehicle, or anything like that, the rank-and-file SoS staff seems to be the most polite, professional and comparatively efficient government office employees I deal with. And I’m nobody that nobody sent. Sample size of one, but I think some portion of his popularity is that the office doesn’t suck.

  17. - Centenial - Thursday, Jul 20, 17 @ 1:36 pm:

    Don’t know the guy. But those are lapel pins. Little tacky… pandering even… in my opinion.

  18. - "Chief" - Thursday, Jul 20, 17 @ 2:00 pm:

    Call IDOT and ask about “Chief Griffin.” Assuming you aren’t hung up on at this point, I’m sure they will have plenty to share.

  19. - NorthsideNoMore - Thursday, Jul 20, 17 @ 4:16 pm:

    Get in line kid, Lots of others ahead of ye.

  20. - Everyone Has A Price - Thursday, Jul 20, 17 @ 4:29 pm:

    This guy has been hanging around south suburban Democratic politics for years. He’s had a lot of trouble holding down steady employment. I think he worked on one of Sen. Hastings campaigns. He worked at IDOT for a while under Quinn but something happened and they had to let him go. About a year ago I saw him on social media bragging about hanging out with Rand Paul. I figured he had flipped his lid…or maybe was selling out to try to become a token for the GOP out of extreme career frustration.

  21. - Michael Westen - Thursday, Jul 20, 17 @ 5:27 pm:

    Erika Harold for A.G. and this guy for SOS. If these are the type of blockbuster candidates Rauner’s former staff recruited, I understand better why he fired them.

  22. - Toko Ri - Friday, Jul 21, 17 @ 11:05 am:

    Wow - sporting the National Defense Service Medal miniature on his lapel no less … 🙄

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