Griffin ‘Can’t See’ Political Run As Ex-Titan Exec. Seeks Nashville Mayoralty

Jul 22 2014 | 11:07am ET

Hedge-fund heavyweight Kenneth Griffin has no political ambitions, but another industry veteran is hoping to lead his hometown.

The Citadel Investment Group founder has played an outsized role in this year’s gubernatorial campaign in Illinois, donating more than $3.5 million to Republican challenger Bruce Rauner. The contributions include the state’s single-largest ever, a $2.5 million check cut last month. But Griffin said he expects that giving—and giving generously—is as far as he’ll go in politics.

Griffin told CNBC at last week’s Delivering Alpha conference in New York that the “can’t see” a run for office in his future. Pressed by CNBC’s Kate Kelly, he wouldn’t rule it out, but did not sound enthusiastic, either.

“Never say never, but I can’t see it in my future,” he said.

Griffin said he’s digging deep because Illinois under Gov. Pat Quinn is in trouble.

“Americans talk about the need for change in Washington. I can tell you the need for change in Springfield is far greater than the need for change in Washington. I know it’s hard to believe.”

Griffin may not be throwing his hat into the ring, but one of his former colleagues is: David Fox, formerly of Titan Advisors, wants to be the next mayor of Nashville, Tenn.

Fox, who has long be rumored to be mulling a race, officially entered it yesterday. He joins a crowded race to succeed outgoing Mayor Karl Dean, who is prohibited by term limits from seeking a third term.

Fox is a former business reporter at The Tennessean newspaper and is a former chairman of Nashville’s school board, on which he served from 2006 through 2010. He recently left his post at Titan, which is run by his brother, George.

“I’ve seen Nashville evolve into such a culturally and economically dynamic city over the past 25 years, and I just want to do my part to keep that going,” he said. “I grew up in Nashville. My family’s been here for about 140 years.”

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