Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 2010, 2nd term.

Born: March 15, 1958, Philadelphia, PA

Home: Salem, VA

Education: Emory and Henry Col., B.A. 1980, Washington and Lee U., J.D. 1983.

Professional Career: Practicing atty., 2008-10.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Episcopalian

Family: Married (Hilary Davis) , 3 children

Republican Morgan Griffith is a former Virginia House majority leader who uses his Energy and Commerce Committee seat to protect his region’s coal industry and inveigh against the Environmental Protection Agency. He won the seat from Democratic Rep. Rick Boucher, a 28-year incumbent, in one of the major upsets of the 2010 election.

Griffith was born in Philadelphia and moved to Salem as a child. He was president of his high school student body and an avid swimmer. He attended Emory & Henry College, in part because it had just completed a new pool. He graduated in 1980 and received a law degree three years later from Washington and Lee University. Griffith then opened his own private practice in Salem. He joined a statewide firm in 2008, managing its Roanoke/Salem branch. After winning a seat in the state House of Delegates in 1994, Griffith led efforts to repeal restrictions on gun ownership, sought to limit abortion rights, and led an unsuccessful attempt to block a $1.4 billion tax increase. He rose to majority leader in 2000 and earned a reputation as a skilled parliamentarian. But Griffith also bucked his party on occasion. In 2010, he helped draft a bill to legalize marijuana for medicinal use.

In the U.S. House race, Griffith easily won the Republican nomination on the first ballot at a party convention in May. In the general election, he was at a significant financial disadvantage, outspent by Boucher 3-to-1. But Boucher, though not a liberal Democrat, had been a leader on the party’s cap-and-trade bill aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions, which passed the House in 2009. The bill was unpopular in Appalachia’s coal country, and Griffith made Boucher’s work on the bill a centerpiece of his campaign. He argued that the measure would have killed jobs and raised electricity costs. Boucher framed his support for the bill as a way to ensure that Congress – and not conservatives’ nemesis, the EPA – had regulatory power over carbon emissions.

Griffith also ran an ad with a video clip of President Barack Obama saying, “I love Rick Boucher.” Boucher attacked Griffith as a carpetbagger who lived outside the district boundaries, running a television ad that said, “Morgan Griffith: He’s not from here … and it shows.” But as Republicans were triumphing across the country, Griffith defeated the incumbent, 51% to 46%.

In Washington, Griffith has been a loyal Republican, though he has not been as far to the right as many of his Class of 2010 GOP colleagues. He joined most Democrats in voting against a House-passed 2012 amendment requiring trials for terrorism detainees to be held at Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay instead of in civilian courts. Though he expressed an interest in introducing a medical-marijuana bill similar to the one he did in Virginia, he told The Hill newspaper in 2012 that he was hesitant to do so. “Here’s the problem: Everybody hears medical marijuana and they think California — ‘Hey, if it makes you feel good, do it,’” he said.

He got a plum seat on Energy and Commerce, rare for a freshman, and steered a bill through the House in 2011 that sought to limit the EPA’s power to regulate boilers. He and West Virginia Republican David McKinley complained in a January 2013 op-ed about “the destructive consequences of this administration’s regulatory assault” on the coal industry. He also contended in 2011 that EPA regulations treated dairy milk spills the same as oil spills, an assertion that the fact-checking site PolitiFact labeled false.

With Boucher uninterested in a 2012 rematch, Democrats had no one of his stature to face Griffith, and he steamrolled political novice Anthony Flaccavento, 61%-39%.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-3861

(202) 225-0076

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1108
Washington, DC 20515-4609

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-3861

(202) 225-0076

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1108
Washington, DC 20515-4609

DISTRICT OFFICE

(276) 525-1405

(276) 525-1444

323 West Main Street
Abingdon, VA 24210-2605

DISTRICT OFFICE

(276) 525-1405

(276) 525-1444

323 West Main Street
Abingdon, VA 24210-2605

DISTRICT OFFICE

(540) 381-5671

(540) 381-5675

17 West Main Street
Christiansburg, VA 24073-3055

DISTRICT OFFICE

(540) 381-5671

(540) 381-5675

17 West Main Street
Christiansburg, VA 24073-3055

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

PO Box 361
Christiansburg, VA 24068

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

PO Box 361
Christiansburg, VA 24068

EXPORT CONTACTS » *

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Christen Harsha
Legislative Assistant

Acquisitions

Adam Harbison
Legislative Director

Agriculture

Adam Harbison
Legislative Director

Budget

Adam Harbison
Legislative Director

Education

Adam Harbison
Legislative Director

Health

Adam Harbison
Legislative Director

Homeland Security

Adam Harbison
Legislative Director

Intelligence

Adam Harbison
Legislative Director

Judiciary

Robert Hamill
Legislative Counsel; Senior Policy Advisor

Labor

Adam Harbison
Legislative Director

Medicare

Adam Harbison
Legislative Director

Military

Adam Harbison
Legislative Director

Rules

Adam Harbison
Legislative Director

Telecommunications

Robert Hamill
Legislative Counsel; Senior Policy Advisor

Transportation

Adam Harbison
Legislative Director

Veterans

Adam Harbison
Legislative Director

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Morgan Griffith
Votes: 184,882
Percent: 61.37%
Anthony Flaccavento
Votes: 116,400
Percent: 38.63%
2012 PRIMARY
Morgan Griffith
Unopposed
2010 GENERAL
Morgan Griffith
Votes: 95,726
Percent: 51.21%
Rick Boucher
Votes: 86,743
Percent: 46.41%
2010 PRIMARY
Morgan Griffith
Unopposed
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (51%)

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