It’s been a bit over twenty-years since attorney Mark Griffin of Cottonwood Heights purposely jumped into the political fray, saying some of his motivation now to include his name as a Republican candidate for Senate District 8 that has opened for a special election by the district’s 207 county delegates next Tuesday night, and ultimate appointment by Governor Gary Herbert is because, “We’re in unique times in our country – in a place where we are divided and a bit polarized.”
The former General Counsel for Utah success story Overstock.com, who still works, “a bit for Overstock and has some other projects in my hip pocket;” shared with Candidates.vote some unique perspectives about himself that have helped to shape his filing for consideration to fulfill the last two years of GOP State Senator Brian Shiozawa’s term as the Senator joins the Trump administration.
Including being the type of neighbor other neighbor’s flag down as Griffin drive’s by, stops, rolls down the window and is handed a book by a friend who highly recommends he read the text that is taken by Griffin through his open car window.
The following Question and Answer interview with Candidate Griffin was conducted by Candidates.vote’s, Clark H. Caras.
Candidates.vote – “I’m doubting your car is known as the local Bookmobile; but a neighbor stopping you in the street to give you a book they recommend. That type of neighborliness doesn’t exist everywhere?”
Candidate Griffin – “I love the power of words. In fact, anyone who has been in our home knows one of the first rooms off the entry is a library with shelves from top to bottom filled with books. Right now I’ve probably got fifteen different books, mainly history and religious, stacked on my nightstand and on the floor around it.”
Candidates.vote – “So you and books are a bit of a known quantity?”
Candidate Griffin – “Reading is one of those things I do when there’s a need for a bit of ‘stress management,’ or time to relax; but not the only thing. If you know me well, you know you can find me painting, cooking, or reading.”
Candidates.vote – “So I have to know and share with readers – no pun intended – what was the book your neighbor and friend felt such a need to get into your hands?”
Candidate Griffin – “First, I want to say an experience like that is just the type of neighborhood we live in and enjoy. But the book is, “Wrestling with Angels: What Genesis Teaches Us about Our Spiritual Identity.” It’s an amazing read. All I can really say about it is, ‘wow’, and thanks to my neighbor and friend.”
It should be pointed out my interview with Candidate Griffin took place over the phone in between appointments for him.
Candidate Griffin – “No offense, but if we weren’t talking right now I’d be listening to an audio book. As I said, I love the power of words. And I love history, especially anything I can get my hands on about Winston Churchill and Ulysses S. Grant.
Reading about Churchill right now seems appropriate to what we are experiencing as a nation. As I said, we are a country polarized much like Churchill was experiencing. He was on the outs and not well regarded. Yet, Winston Churchill, he worked to have a plan to answer the dangers when they came… and we know they did. And what did they do when the war was over, what did they do with him? They threw him out of office.”
Candidates.vote – “So before Overstock.com you were a part of public service as you served in the Department of Commerce over the Securities Division and then actually became the State Attorney General who was assigned to the entire Commerce Department.
What exactly was your family’s reaction when you shared with them the possibility of stepping into fulfilling the last two years of being District 8’s state senator – knowing it would entail a campaign – a very quick one at that?”
Candidate Griffin – “Well, as I said; this wasn’t the first time for us in this type of thing and the first go round wasn’t successful. We won the primary, but lost the general. And my wife of 35 years, she worked hard on that one. So this time around didn’t start until she gave a polite nod, yes.
My son who was the youngest twenty-years ago when we ran, he tongue in cheek let us know he wasn’t about to do any parades this time. We sort of ruined him on enjoying parades I guess. But I have their blessing and personally it’s my belief it’s time to get involved again.”
Candidates.vote – “Your resume includes time spent in Nevada as the deputy secretary of state and you’ve made a great reputation for yourself in being a prosecutor and investigator of fraud. To me that type of thing is easy to see leading to some stress relievers. Along with the reading, you mentioned cooking and painting.”
Candidate Griffin – “Since everyone knows I get a lot of comfort from cooking and preparing a meal. And my favorite? I have to admit because of an LDS mission to Spain, my love is to prepare and sit down to a great Paella.
The painting, my enjoyment there comes from the fact when Churchill needed to think and contemplate things he would build a wall, or paint a painting. Me, I paint with oils. Impressionist landscapes and still life.”
Candidates.vote – “With all of the books I might already know the answer to the next question? What’s the last movie you and your wife were able to enjoy – either in a theater or at home?”
Candidate Griffin – “Oh, we make time to sit down and enjoy a good movie. I’ll admit though, we don’t watch a lot of films you’d consider ‘feature’ films. The last one was titled, “Little Boy,” and probably rated about PG-13. It was a wonderful story of a boy who was willing to do whatever it took to bring his dad home alive from World War II.”
Candidates.vote – “Do any of your books center on anything other than history?”
Candidate Griffin – “Yes, I like and have one right now I’m enjoying tremendously and recommend. “The 5-second Rule. It’s based on a simple principle that makes all the sense in the world. When you feel the need to do it, you have exactly 5-seconds to do it – to act upon it, or you move on and past it.”
Candidates.vote – “Sounds like something a person getting into a special election like this might have read?”
Candidate Griffin – “Overstock.com is one of Utah’s great companies and as I said, I still do work for them. But I have indeed, come to a point in my life when I feel the desire to give back.”
Candidates.vote – “Thank you for the time you’ve given us for the interview and possibly after next week we might be speaking again.”
By Clark H. Caras