Joshua C. Griffin is ready to shake Illinois out of its political doldrums in route to becoming the 38th Secretary of State of Illinois.
Griffin’s political career began in many respects with an about face from the Democratic Party to the GOP in 2015 when he joined the presidential campaign of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) as an unpaid outreach volunteer. He said issues such as the over incarceration of Americans particularly minorities, criminal justice reform, digital privacy, and individual sovereignty– topics raised by the Paul campaign– were significant enough for him to switch parties.
Griffin contends he is not an “establishment guy.” He said he’s coming through the party with new ideas. He said it’s better to listen to your neighbor than the political elite to understand what the true issues are. He called Illinois a “beautiful state” and believes people are willing to cross the aisle to work together toward a better tomorrow.
“I’m speaking of an evolution that needs to occur from within our government and how we present ourselves as public servants, as leaders, and not all of this is welcomed,” said Griffin. “It’s hard for some Republicans to grasp that an African-American male from the South Side of Chicago wants to be a Republican and run a statewide campaign, but it’s true.”
One of Griffin’s campaign goals is to slash “unnecessary spending” to help the state’s budget. His approach is to look at the Constitution to determine what programs and initiatives should receive funding prior to proceeding forward. He said taxpayers’ money has been misused on overhead expenses. He said due to pension liabilities and the number of employees working at the Secretary of State’s Office, there are insufficient funds to maintain the status quo.
“We need to find ways to consolidate our government and restructure it in such a way that truly creates some efficiencies, but we need to do it in a way that still creates productive measures; the only way we can do that is by bringing in new ideas,” said Griffin. “That doesn’t mean I want to fire anyone. I want to cross-train individuals into more effective roles.”
The incumbent Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White received nothing but the highest of praises from Griffin. He said he met White on at least one occasion and has “no qualms” with him, however, Griffin said his campaign is an “evolution of leadership.”
“I believe that the office and the taxpayer most importantly are not being served in a way that truly, truly extends the most effective approach,” said Griffin. “Voters are ready for a new change, a new voice, who will evolve the office and make it more customer friendly.”
A five-year Air Force veteran who served in Iraq in 2008, Griffin shared with the Defender that while on the campaign trail, he’s learned the value in continuously moving forward. He said his commitment to his faith has made all the difference in his life.
“There’s so many people that want to deter, distract, or suppress your enthusiasm,” said Griffin.
The Calumet Heights native’s focus is on discovering how together we all might move the state forward. He said while he’s concerned with what is happening on Chicago’s South Side and West Side, his attention will be called to cities across the state.
“This is a statewide campaign, but there’s no doubt that I am an African American,” said Griffin. “What I’m trying to say is regardless of my race, regardless of my color, we need to start having a bigger discussion as to how we are moving our state forward.”
For more information about Joshua C. Griffin, visit joshuacgriffin.com/.