Jenkins speaks briefly at Franklin forum

Published 5:23 pm Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Del. Clinton Jenkins, a Democrat running for the Virginia State Senate District 17 seat, spoke briefly at the conclusion of the Candidates’ Forum held Wednesday evening, Oct. 18, at Franklin High School by the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Lambda Psi Omega Chapter.

Among those invited to the forum were Jenkins, who represents Virginia’s 76th District in the House of Delegates, and his opponent in the race for the state Senate District 17 seat, Del. Emily Brewer, a Republican who represents Virginia’s 64th District in the House of Delegates. 

It was announced at the beginning of the forum that organizers of the event had not heard back from either Jenkins or Brewer, but Jenkins ended up being in attendance and was given a few minutes at the end of the night to introduce himself.

“I am Del. Clinton Jenkins, I currently represent Suffolk and Chesapeake, but the redistricting has moved me this way,” he said.

As noted by the Virginia Public Access Project, Virginia State Senate District 17 includes all of the city of Suffolk, Isle of Wight County, Southampton County, Brunswick County, Greensville County, the city of Franklin and the city of Emporia and part of the city of Portsmouth, Dinwiddie County and the city of Chesapeake.

Jenkins said, “I’m running to represent you, and let me tell you, one of the first things that I did when I was elected in 2019 was there was a group of citizens that did not have dental care in Medicaid between the ages of 19 and 64. One of the first things I did when I was elected in 2019 was close that gap.

“The second thing that I did was when COVID hit, I made sure that vaccines were available in the community, and I was responsible for carrying legislation to make sure that our small businesses got assistance,” he added.

Then Jenkins referenced Nadarius Clark, who participated in the forum. Clark held the District 79 seat in the Virginia House of Delegates until he resigned in March to run for the District 84 seat.

“Now, Del. Clark was instrumental in making sure that he submitted legislation to increase our teachers’ pay to the national average,” Jenkins said. “I built on that legislation last term and made sure that we packaged it so that it went back to the General Assembly, and it was approved, and in 2024, the numbers will be submitted to the General Assembly to increase teachers’ pay.”

Addressing another aspect of his own record, Jenkins stated that he has been significantly helpful to military veterans during his time in the House.

“I submitted legislation that caused Virginia to do research to see what it takes to improve our services for our veterans,” he said. “I also carried that legislation in 2020 that if veterans have multiple cars, one of their vehicles will not be taxed.”

In conclusion, he told those attending the forum, “I’ve been instrumental, working on your behalf. I wasn’t able to get on the (forum) program, but I showed up tonight because I care about you, and you can count on me. … Call me, I’ll go to work for you.”