Floyd L. Griffin, Jr., a Milledgeville Democrat, was first elected to the State Senate from middle Georgia's 25th District in 1994 and is now beginning his second term. Griffin's election to the Georgia Senate in 1994 made history, marking the first time in modern times that a black candidate won office in a rural, majority white legislative district in Georgia.
Griffin served the Defense and Veterans Affairs Committee and serves on the Higher Education Committee. He was also a member of the influential Rules Committee and the Health and Human Services Committee. In addition, he served on the Board of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus and was a member of the Department of Community Affairs' Advisory Committee on Rural Development. Griffin also served as a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission on the General Assembly of Georgia. He has also served on the Senate Study Committee on the Privatization of Governmental Services.
Griffin has worked for legislation to ensure the financial stability of Georgia's public schools and to guarantee that the General Assembly has a role in any decisions that are made regarding the privatization of state facilities or institutions.
Griffin is a U.S. Army veteran, retiring in 1990 with the rank of Colonel. During his 23-year military career, Griffin held a number of key positions. He served in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot and flight instructor and as commander of a construction engineer company. His Army career also included a tour of duty in Germany, serving as a Logistics Officer, Battalion Executive Officer and Director of Engineering and Housing.
From 1984-86 Griffin commanded an Engineering Battalion at Ft. Stewart, Georgia. He was assigned to the Pentagon from 1986-90.
Griffin's military service has also included stints as an educator. He was a Professor of Military Science at both Wake Forest University and Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina. While at Winston-Salem State, he also served as Director of ROTC and coached the offensive backfield on two undefeated championship teams. He was a part-time instructor with the University of Chicago's extension program in Germany. More recently, he served as Director of Facilities and Engineering at GMC and a part-time instructor at Georgia College in Milledgeville.
Griffin is a funeral director and is currently Vice-President of Slater's Funeral Home, owned and operated by the Griffin family.
Born May 24, 1944 in Milledgeville, Griffin holds an AS degree in Funeral Service from Gupton Jones College and a BS in Building Construction from Tuskeegee Institute. He earned a master's degree in Contract and Procurement Management from the Florida Institute of Technology and is also a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College and the National War College.
Active in the community, Griffin is a member of the Rotary Club of Milledgeville, the Warren-Hawkins Post of the American Legion, the Milledgeville United Negro College Fund, the National War College Alumni Association, the Baldwin County NAACP, the Milledgeville Chamber of Commerce, and the Prince Hall Free and Accepted Masons.
Griffin serves on the Boards of the Central State Hospital Foundations, Inc., the Milledgeville Evening Optimist Club, the Baldwin County Council on Substance Abuse and the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Rape Crisis Center. He also serves on the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Film Commission, and the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Olympic Committee.
He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Georgia College Intercollegiate Athletic Association and was chairman of the Search Committee for the Establishment of the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Human Relations Commission.
He is a life member of the Omega Pi Phi Fraternity and has also been inducted into the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. He received the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award in 1993 and was recently honored by the Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service with its Distinguished Service Award for the advancement of the funeral service profession.
Griffin and his wife, Nathalie Huffman Griffin, are the parents of two grown sons -- Brian and Eric. They have three grandchildren. The Griffin's are members of the Trinity CME Church.
Floyd Griffin, Jr. currently is turning his attention to Macon in a continuing effort to promote his autobiography – Legacy to Legend: Winners Make It Happen.
Griffin on Saturday appeared on Close Up, a 30-minute program on WMAZ channel 13. Close Up, which airs each Saturday at noon, is a public affairs and issues program hosted by longtime Macon news man Randall Savage. The taping of the show was earlier this week. When askes by Savage about his possible entry back into politics, Griffin said he hasn't made up his mind yet but it's possible he may return to politics in 2010.
“I think it will be interesting. We talk about my book and then he asks me some tough questions, like whether or not I’ll be running for public office in the future,” said Griffin, the first black mayor of Milledgeville and the first black state senator from Baldwin County. “Hopefully it will make for good TV.”
Next Thursday, meanwhile, Griffin will host a book signing at the Tubman Museum in Macon. Griffin’s 288-page retails for $24.95. On the front cover of the book is a picture of Griffin during his army days. On the back cover, meanwhile is a photo of Griffin and President Barack Obama that was taken during a 2008 campaign stop in Macon. The Obama camp issued a press release during the campaign stop, stating, “I am proud to have Sen. Floyd Griffin’s support. Sen. Griffin is a true American hero, who served in the United States Army for 22 years and served the people of Georgia for decades. We need more leaders like Floyd who put the needs of their country and its people first.”
Griffin’s book created a buzz when it was released in March. According to a press release from Griffin’s publisher, the book “examines the life, works and contributions of Floyd L. Griffin, Jr. a trailblazer. Griffin celebrates an illustrious career as a U.S. Army colonel, war pilot, state senator, coach and businessman. Floyd L. Griffin, Jr. parlayed a successful military career into a history-making sojourn in politics and community service as the first African- American to be elected to the state Senate from Georgia’s 25th District. Griffin’s election to the Senate marked the first time since Reconstruction that a black candidate won office in a rural, majority-white legislative district in Georgia. Griffin’s leadership exemplifies his determined spirit.”He is a guy that run for Labor Commissioner if Michael Thurmond runs for Lt. Governor. Or other possibilities include: Secretary of State, Lt. Governor, State School Superintendent (he currently serves on the Baldwin Co. Board of Education) or run for the State Senate again. A David Poythress-Floyd Griffin ticket would be something I think will be unmatchable for the GOP.