At 11:11 a.m. on Friday morning, Bloomington deputy mayor Don Griffin, Jr. filed paperwork with the Monroe County election division to become a candidate for mayor in the 2023 election.
Clearing the way for Griffin to run for mayor was Bloomington mayor John Hamilton’s announcement two weeks ago that he would not be seeking a third term.
Griffin and Hamilton both appeared on Wednesday in front of the Bloomington city council to present the administration’s proposal for a $29.5 million bond issuance to rehabilitate fire stations and to integrate a new police station into the western part of the Showers building—the same structure where city hall is located.
Reached by The B Square on Friday afternoon, Griffin said a more formal announcement would be forthcoming, probably early next week. For now, he’s just telling people that he is, if fact, running, and they’re welcome to tell others, too.
Griffin has served as deputy mayor of Bloomington since late April of 2021, when Mick Renneisen retired from the position.
Griffin is founder of Griffin Realty Holdings. He has owned his own real estate firm since 2003, according to the city’s 2021 news release on his appointment as deputy mayor.
The news release announcing Griffin’s appointment as deputy mayor quoted mayor John Hamilton saying, “Don’s personal energy and experience, his demonstrated commitment to the community, and his deep roots in neighborhoods and in so many civic institutions and efforts, all bode very well for our community’s future.”
From January 2016 until he was appointed as deputy mayor, Griffin served on the city’s redevelopment commission.
Griffin co-founded the Monroe County Black Democratic Caucus with Nicole Bolden, who is Bloomington’s elected city clerk.
The city’s 2021 news release included among Griffin’s current and past board appointments: Indiana University Eskenazi Museum of Art, the Monroe County History Center, The Project School, Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County, Lotus World Music Festival, and the Bloomington Board of Realtors.
Awards listed in the city’s 2021 news release include the Indiana University Bicentennial Award (2020), the Bloomington’s Black History Month Visionary Award (2019), and Bloomington’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award (2017).
Griffin attended Hampton University in Virginia where he studied architecture and building construction management.
The paperwork Griffin filed on Friday was to establish a campaign committee. Declarations of candidacy can’t be filed until Jan. 4, 2023.
The chair of Griffin’s committee is listed on the form as Jim Sims, who this week announced that he would not be seeking reelection to the city council next year.
The treasurer of Griffin’s committee listed on the form as Larry Allen, an assistant Bloomington city attorney.
Photo Collage: Don Griffin, Jr.