Roger Griffith, a local businessman and county commissioner, has announced his candidacy for State Representative of the reconfigured 17th district, which now includes most of Jefferson County and the northern part of Sevier County.
In announcing his candidacy, Griffith stated, “We are facing serious challenges in our district. There is a double-digit unemployment rate in this area, Tennessee ranks No. 46 in education, and our values are constantly under attack. To overcome these challenges, the district needs a representative in Nashville with fresh ideas, extensive business experience, and the desire to listen to and communicate with citizens. I will work hard to represent the best interests of the entire district.”
Griffith is the founder and president of Griffith Engineering & Consulting, Inc., a local engineering firm. He said, “As a small business owner myself, I understand the difficulties of cumbersome government regulations and excessive taxes. Current unemployment rates in Jefferson and Sevier Counties are over 10 percent, which is significantly higher than the state average of 8.3 percent.”
Griffith also commented, “Government cannot create lasting jobs, but government can lower taxes, cut burdensome regulations, develop infrastructure and provide economic incentives to help businesses thrive, providing more and better jobs. We cannot sit idly by and wait for economic recovery to come to us. We must be prepared to launch into economic recovery and be a leader in job creation. I will work diligently to represent the interests of this area in Nashville.”
His public service complements his business experience. Griffith is currently a County Commissioner in Jefferson County, where he serves as Chairman of the Finance Committee and Chairman Pro Tempore. He has helped develop and pass a Debt Management Policy for the county, which provides openness and transparency for financial transactions. Griffith has been a leading supporter of school construction projects in the county, including the construction of a new elementary school and extensive renovations for the county’s high school. He recently introduced a resolution opposing any weakening of the “Sunshine Law.”
Griffith, 50, earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University. During 14 years at TVA, he held various engineering and management positions. As the principal of his engineering firm for the past 15 years, Griffith has been an engineering consultant for many local businesses and development projects, including Dollywood, The Inn at Christmas Place, Mills Auditorium, the Pigeon Forge Welcome Center, and Grainger County High School.
Roger and his family are active members of True Life Church in Jefferson City where he serves as an elder. He is a graduate of the East Tennessee Regional Leadership Program. He is also a member and past president of the Jefferson City Rotary Club, and a past board member of Habitat for Humanity in Jefferson County.
Roger has been married to his wife, Missy, for 25 years. They have nine children and live on a small farm in New Market.
Griffith will be on the Republican ballot in the state primary on Aug. 2.
Story by Wes Hall | firstname.lastname@example.org