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Arkansas' Griffin won't seek 3rd term in House

FILE - In this Feb. 24, 2012 file photo, U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., is interviewed at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark. In an unexpected announcement Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, Griffin said he won't run for a third term representing central Arkansas in the U.S. House of Representatives. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

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By The Associated Press
Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, 7:33 p.m.

LITTLE ROCK — Republican U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin said on Monday he won't seek a third term representing central Arkansas in Congress next year, a surprise announcement that adds uncertainty to GOP efforts to build on recent gains in the state.

Nearly a week after announcing he had more than half a million dollars in the bank for his re-election bid, Griffin said he'd rather focus on his family and raising his children than another congressional term.

“I think it's important right now to put my family first, and that's critical to me,” Griffin, who has a 3-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter, said after announcing his decision.

Griffin, who easily won re-election in 2012, had no announced opponents for next year's race. He said he had been weighing the decision over the past eight months. Griffin said he hasn't decided what he'll do when his term ends but wouldn't rule out another run for office in the future.

“I'm not done with politics. I think politics is a worthy enterprise,” Griffin said. “I will stay engaged, and I'm very interested in serving in elected office again.”

Griffin was named to the House Ways and Means Committee in November, becoming the first Republican from Arkansas to serve on the tax-writing panel.

At the time, Griffin said he wouldn't run for Arkansas governor or the U.S. Senate because of the appointment.

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