Attorney Clay Jenkins has again been recommended in an editorial by the Dallas Morning News for the position of Dallas County Judge. In the primary election Mr. Jenkins was also endorsed by the Dallas Morning News and he came within 85 votes of winning outright, without a runoff election. Now in the runoff, he has the newspaper’s recommendation again.
Early voting begins April 5, and the runoff election is April 13.
Here is the editorial from the Dallas Morning News:
For more than three years, the Dallas County Commissioners Court has lacked a true leader. County Judge Jim Foster has been sitting at the helm, but he’s never really managed to steer the ship.
And as scandals, controversies and general discord boiled over into public view, the leadership void on the court became more apparent.
Fortunately, Democratic primary voters recognized that the status quo was insufficient when they left Foster in distant third on March 2. Clay Jenkins came within a hair’s breadth of winning that contest outright and avoiding a runoff. Voters should return to the polls April 13 to ensure that Jenkins advances to the general election, where he would face a Republican opponent.
Jenkins, a 45-year-old lawyer and co-owner of a health services company, is a relative newcomer to county politics, but he is well prepared and would bring the leadership skills that have been lacking.
He is assertive but willing to work with others. And it’s difficult to imagine that the shouting matches and temper tantrums that have become hallmarks of the Commissioners Court would persist under Jenkins’ watch.
Jenkins has correctly identified fostering economic development in southern Dallas County and improving air quality as important challenges that the next county judge must tackle. His experience in the health care field also provides him with a strong knowledge base that should prove useful in addressing public health issues and overseeing Parkland.
While Jenkins has offered thoughtful ideas for improving efficiency and transparency within county government, his opponent has been less than specific in outlining his plans. Larry Duncan, the Dallas County Schools Board president and a former Dallas City Council member, has made sweeping promises to root out corruption and do things “the right way.” But left unsaid is how, precisely, he will accomplish these broad goals.
Duncan, 64, also does not seem as well equipped to defuse tensions and build consensus among county leadership.
Jenkins has the backing of many local high-profile Democrats. But more important, he’s the better choice for Democratic voters who have grown tired of the ever-present drama in county government.