Judge, Dallas County, Texas
Clay Jenkins is an American lawyer and politician. In 2011, he began serving as county judge for Dallas County, Texas.
Judge Clay Jenkins took office in 2011 and has led responses to public health emergencies like the West Nile Virus epidemic, Ebola crisis, and natural disaster recovery from deadly tornadoes and flooding. As chair of the Enroll North Texas Coalition, he led efforts to increase health insurance enrollment for the last seven years to improve public health and reduce the burden on taxpayers who bear the cost for uncompensated care. He worked with the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) and other local districts to reform truancy and school discipline and improve school bus service. Judge Jenkins is an outspoken champion for the Dallas County Promise, an effort to provide debt free college to all Dallas County graduating seniors. Since 2014, Judge Jenkins has worked with local faith groups, community leaders, and federal government partners in various efforts to provide assistance to immigrant communities, particularly unaccompanied minors, DACA recipients, asylum seekers and refugees. As the Chief Elected Official of Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas, Judge Jenkins is committed to helping more residents get living wage jobs. His 2017 “You’re Hired Job Fest” was the largest employment fair ever in Dallas County.
Recently, most of Judge Jenkins’ time has been spent responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. He was the first leader in Texas to put restrictions in place to mitigate the spread of the virus, such as limiting crowd size, closing restaurant dining rooms and bars, and issuing a shelter in place order. Judge Jenkins has worked with medical and business leaders to pass reasonable restrictions and produce guidelines, including user-friendly color-coded doctor recommendations for residents. He has led the efforts to get other elected officials to do the same and continues to work every day to offset counterproductive actions at the federal and state levels. His actions have been heralded for keeping Dallas County safe while getting the economy moving.