Under the Dome

Walter Jones gets challenger

Taylor Griffin, a former aide to president George W. Bush who founded his own D.C public relations consulting firm, has announced he will challenge 3rd District Rep. Walter Jones in next May's Republican primary.

Griffin, who recently moved to New Bern, said Jones was insufficiently conservative for his Eastern North Carolina district.

"I am running for Congress to return our bedrock conservative Eastern North Carolina values to Washington,'' Griffin said in a statement. "The most liberal Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives should come from San Francisco, not from Eastern North Carolina.''

(According to the National Journal, there were two Republicans with more liberal voting records in 2012 than Jones. But the Griffin campaign noted that the Journal said he was the most liberal Republican in 2011. Jones' record was moderate, not liberal, comparable to that of conservative Democrat Mike McIntyre, according to the National Journal.)

Griffin, 38, is a Raleigh native who grew up in Wilson. He has spent most of his career in Washington, working for the Sen. Jesse Helms, for Bush, and for the Treasury Department, and co-founding the consulting firm, Hamilton Place Strategies. which now has 20 employees. It registered to lobby for the Mina Corporation, which lists its business as jet supply and its address in Dubai. But Griffin said his former firm was not primarily a lobbying firm and registered only in that one instance.

He has sold his interest in the firm to his partners, according to Politico.

"The federal government is growing and spreading lie a virus into every part of our lives and I intend to stop it,'' Griffin said in his statement. "I will fight on behalf of our commercial fisherman and our tourism industry against a federal bureaucracy that ha grown out of control. to put an end to the reckless borrowing and spending. To drive a stake through the heart of Obamacare. And to stand up for North Carolina against the Obama Justice Department and its outrageous attempts to tamper with our elections and suppress the will of our people.''

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