Letter – Jenkins ‘snubs’ candidate forum

Published 7:47 pm Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

The 30-plus-year tradition of Candidate Forums held by the Isle of Wight Citizens Association and Carrollton Civic League was “royally” snubbed by Clinton Jenkins this past Wednesday evening at The Smithfield Center.  

Initial invitation was sent to Jenkins and all our area’s General Assembly candidates to participate in the Sept. 27 event, before the end of June, after primary election results were published. He’s the only one who did not have the common decency to respond, one way or the other.

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It wasn’t like Jenkins did not get the invitation either! Personally, I invited him once eyeball to eyeball, twice on the telephone and then twice with his campaign staff, and lastly multiple times by additional emails and finally by letter to his official listed address, P.O. Box 4305, Suffolk, VA 23434. Wouldn’t a citizen, organizations and the individual with whom he had had personal contact have expected some answer from Jenkins well before Sept. 27? Professionally and as a person seeking higher elected office, nothing less is expected. Correct?  Well, one label can be put on candidate Jenkins: an indecisive politician of the first order. Don’t you agree, fellow citizens?

In the last personal conversation Jenkins was even recommended to call and talk to the present and past presidents of the local chapter of the NAACP.  These are both “straight talking” ladies who could tell Jenkins these Candidate Forums are conducted in a totally nonpartisan manner over these past years. The moderators have been and are the local newspaper publisher, a local African American professional and one of the aforementioned organization’s presidents.

Why didn’t Jenkins respond and participate? After all, he does want citizens to cast their vote for him, doesn’t he? Is/was Jenkins afraid to publicly answer questions from his “potential constituents” submitted by them, for him to answer, through the forum’s moderators?

Who’d vote for such an unprofessional indecisive politician? Every Senate District 17 voter needs to ask themselves that question, I think. We are already burdened with too many politicians in Richmond (Washington, too) who are self-serving partisan politicians first and Virginan Americans last.


Herb De Groft


Isle of Wight Citizens Association