PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – Election Day is three weeks out, and it’s the most heavily funded General Assembly election cycle in recent memory.
All Seats are up: 100 seats in the House of Delegates now controlled by republicans, and 40 seats in the State Senate controlled by democrats.
The newly re-drawn 17th State Senate District is a massive district land wise. It includes all of Suffolk, Isle of Wight County and Southampton County, Brunswick County, Greensville County, Franklin City, Emporia City, and parts of Portsmouth, Dinwiddie County and Chesapeake.
Emily Brewer Ad Claims
Brewer’s political ad brings up Del. Jenkins’ past, which includes three misdemeanor charges. What she doesn’t tell you, they were all dismissed.
Brewer’s commercial features domestic abuse survivor Kimi.
Delegate Clint Jenkins responded to this claim during an interview with WAVY TV 10 and said it was the most he has spoken about how disturbing the ad is to him. “But what offended me more is someone would take my daughter and try to use my family against me.”
Del. Brewer sat down with WAVY and defended the ad that is getting major rotation on air. “He was charged on three separate occasions for domestic abuse and assault,” she said.
WAVY’s TRUTH TRACKER finds that claim is TRUE.
Jenkins was charged, but it is also true, which the ad fails to mention, that all three charges were dismissed.
The three misdemeanors date back 26 years to September 1997. The first charge was an accusation of assault and battery against his wife. The next was a charge of assault and battery involving his daughter; that was in November 2003. Then, in December 2003 he faced another charge, accused of threatening to kill or injure his daughter.
Del. Jenkins knows the gravity of the ads and what they mean personally and politically. “That ad is going to have a major impact on this election. It has already, but the jury is out… the jury is the voters.”
Clint Jenkins Ad Claims
In response to the first ad, Jenkins created a commercial including his daughter with a powerful image at the end.
Del. Jenkins explained how the ad came to be. “My daughter felt it was best coming from her since she was targeted in Ms. Brewer’s video,” he told WAVY.
“Ms. Brewer is saying I am an abuser, and it is a bold face lie,” Delegate Jenkins continued.
In response to the daughter saying the claims in Brewer’s ad were lies, Brewer told WAVY, “These were her words, not mine. When you read the complaint it is disturbing.”
Brewer points out the first charge involving Del. Jenkins’ wife, Karen, reads:
“E-S-F-G which in court abbreviation means “evidence sufficient to find guilt” judgment withheld for 12 months if no further problem will dismiss.”
In the end, the charge was dismissed.
To that Jenkins said, “I’ve been married 35 years to the same wife, living together.”
Brewer countered, “The words in the complaint matter, and I believe the writings of the victims.”
Karen Jenkins is running for the House of Delegates in District 89 in the November election. She writes in the complaint against her husband, “He grabbed my head and squeezed it and said he was going to kill me,”
WAVY Political Reporter Andy Fox read the words to the delegate and reminded him this is what his wife wrote about him. He replied, “Well, again, I say all families have disagreements, and have ups and downs and challenges.”
Jenkins daughter told the Suffolk police officer who wrote the complaint that he, “Grabbed her with his hands in the throat area…while they were driving. The choking lasted for 5-10 minutes.”
“According to my daughter, that is not what she said. She was 15 years old. She was dragged out of school by herself. No attorney,” said Clint Jenkins.
He is also offended by the silhouetted violent choking in Brewer’s ad, “To me, it was a reflection of an angry Black man. A person of color tries to do something good and political persons try to tear them down. It was supposed to be a reflection of me choking someone. I thought it was a real mean spirited thing. I couldn’t believe my opponent would go that far.”
Jenkins sent this message to voters, “I want them to see I have taken my adversity, and my mistakes and learned from them and grown from them. To be a better person, to make a contribution…I didn’t stop. I didn’t give up, and I tried to do better. I think I have demonstrated I’ve done better not only for myself, but for the community.”
The final image in the Jenkins commercial is of him, his daughter and his wife all holding hands praying, “I think the image is a picture of coming together supporting one another loving on each other,” he said.
Also airing ahead of Election Day is a Jenkins’ commercial against Brewer’s stand on abortion.
WAVY’S TRUTH TRACKER finds that all TRUE. Brewer did say that.
When Andy Fox noted she admitted to saying abortions are barbaric, she responded, “Absolutely. Just imagine the process; what the child goes through in the womb.”
Jenkins countered in his interview with WAVY, “I don’t think the issue we are dealing with here is abortion. What we are dealing with is a woman’s right to choose and not to have government interference.”
Brewer also admitted to WAVY that she called Planned Parenthood a terrorist organization.
“I did say that,” she said. “What I would say Planned Parenthood is an aggressive organization and I firmly believe. I don’t think tax dollars should go towards Planned Parenthood.”
Jenkins, referring to events in Israel, said, “If you watch the news and what is going on in Israel, you see very clearly what a terrorist organization looks like, and I don’t think we see that in Planned Parenthood.”
As you heard from Delegate Jenkins, the political ads concerning his family and him, and their response could very well determine who wins and who loses.
Election Day is November 7.
In the interviews with Jenkins and Brewer, WAVY asked what they stand for and what they think is important to voters. Hear their answers in the video below: