Girod graduated from Stayton High School in Stayton, Oregon. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, a DMD from Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry, and a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard University. He has been a practicing dentist for 26 years, and served in the Oregon House of Representatives in the early 1990s, chairing the Rules Committee. He ran for the U.S. Congress in 1994, but lost in the primary to Jim Bunn.
Girod then served on the Stayton City Council. He was selected by Marion and Linn County Republicans to run again for the House in 2006, in district 17, following then-Representative Jeff Kropf's sudden departure from the 2006 election. He won that election, defeating Democrat Dan Thackaberry, and was appointed in 2008 to succeed Senator Roger Beyer of District 9 upon his resignation. He was sworn in in January 2008, and was re-elected in November 2008 and 2010. He is a candidate for reelection to that seat in 2012.
- Chisholm, Kari (8 February 2008). "If the GOP abandons Mike Erickson, who else might run?" (BLOG). Posts. BlueOregon. Retrieved December 22, 2008.
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