Rep. Morgan Griffith talks police reform, other issues ahead of all-but-assured reelection

Griffith has represented Virginia’s 9th congressional district since 2011

Congressman Morgan Griffith is focusing on the people in Virginia's 9th district and is running unopposed.

SALEM, Va – Congressman Morgan Griffith has been working in Virginia politics for more than two decades.

As Griffith wraps up his tenth year in his congressional seat, he is setting new priorities focusing on the people in Virginia’s 9th District.

“Everybody has a calling and something that they love doing. I love trying to solve problems,” said Griffith.

The Republican incumbent will be on the ballot unopposed in Virginia’s 9th District this Election Day.

Watch our full interview with Griffith covering a range of different topics:

The Republican incumbent will be on the ballot unopposed in Virginia’s 9th District this Election Day.

It’s been a busy year for Griffith, which includes recovering after contracting the coronavirus.

“Had I not known the protocols, I probably never would have even been tested, but then I had a little fever for a day-and-a-half, two days and some aches and pains and then it was over,” said Griffith.

One of Griffith’s top priorities, if re-elected, is addressing the communities in southwest Virginia dealing with drug addiction.

Drug overdoses in Southwest Virginia are up 11% since the start of this year, according to the department of health.

“We think we’ve crested but then COVID has brought about some new incidences, so we have to keep an eye on that we also have other drug issues in the district we have to keep an eye on,” Griffith said.

When it comes to police reform, Griffith does want to reexamine certain practices like no-knock warrants and chokeholds but disagrees with calls to defund the police.

“Defund the police? No, these are our neighbors and friends in most cases we need the ability to maybe get rid of a bad police officer a little faster and a little easier,” Griffith said.

As issues stemming from the pandemic continue, Griffith wants to focus on boosting the economy.

“We need a regulatory system that makes sense but also encourages people to create new jobs,” said Griffith.

For those who may not know, Virginia’s ninth congressional district covers a land size slightly larger than the state of New Jersey.

Included in it are Lee, Wise, Dickenson, Buchanan, Scott, Russell, Tazewell, Washington, Smyth, Bland, Giles, Grayson, Wythe, Pulaski, Montgomery, Carroll, Craig, Floyd and Patrick counties, as well as parts of Alleghany, Roanoke and Henry counties. The district also covers the cities of Bristol, Covington, Galax, Martinsville, Norton, Radford and Salem.

About the Author:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.