‘Public servant’ eager to fill local Clerk of Court position

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 30, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Life is about service to others, said Clinton L. Jenkins.

A strong belief in that philosophy is the catalyst that prompted Jenkins, a crisis stabilization worker for Western Tidewater Community Services Board, to join the race to become the next clerk of Suffolk Circuit Court.

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The late Henry Murden, clerk for more than 50 years, died over the summer. However, just months prior to his death, he announced his intent to retire on Dec. 31.

&uot;I consider myself a public servant,&uot; said Jenkins, 39. &uot;I have a lot of concern for people and their needs.

&uot;This is an office where you serve people,&uot; he continued. &uot;It would be a unique opportunity for me to further my efforts of providing service to people, …a way to broaden services and provide more community outreach to citizens.&uot;

Although he slowed his schedule for the duration of the campaign, Jenkins said he has been studying divinity and clinical counseling at Regent University.

He believes his concern for people, coupled with his strong organizational skills, give him the background to run the clerk of court’s office effectively and efficiently.

Several years ago, Jenkins was logistics manager for the Signal Corp., a northern Virginia company that was one of the country’s largest sources of data compilation at the time. He said that job required him to oversee the organization of massive amounts of information, somewhat similar to the detailed record keeping he would assume responsibility for if elected as the next clerk of court.

Jenkins’ civic resume is rich with volunteer service. He is scoutmaster of a Boy Scout troop meeting at East End Baptist Church and volunteers with SPORAC program, a program sponsored through Suffolk Public Schools that teaches behavior modification to kids by the teaching of non-traditional sports.

He also teaches Sunday school once a month at Autumn Care and Nansemond Pointe nursing homes.

A 1981 graduate of John F. Kennedy High School, Jenkins recalled his first job was working as a custodian at J.C. Penney during his sophomore and junior years in high school. During his senior year, he was able to sandwich working full time at Smithfield Packing Co. with his academic and athletic careers.

Although Jenkins has never run for public office, he has been active both local and state elections since the early 1990s.

Over the years, he has helped run local campaigns for former Gov. Chuck Robb and Gov. Mark Warner.

He has also helped Vice Mayor Leroy Bennett and Councilman Charles F. Brown campaign for office.

&uot;This is different than working behind the scenes,&uot; he said. &uot;It is interesting. I’m enjoying it.

&uot;…The community support I’ve received has been humbling. I’m thankful and appreciative for it.&uot;

Jenkins and his wife, Karen, have three daughters: Ashlin, 17; Britney, 14; and Candace, 11.