Jenkins back in Shreveport mayoral race - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Jenkins back in Shreveport mayoral race

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City councilman Sam Jenkins announced Friday he is running for mayor of Shreveport. City councilman Sam Jenkins announced Friday he is running for mayor of Shreveport.
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

Shreveport City Councilman Sam Jenkins made it official:  He is going to run for mayor after all.  It comes just five months after Jenkins postponed the announcement, citing personal obligations and financial strains.  KSLA News 12 discovered those 'strains' included unresolved civil suits and tax liens against Jenkins and his private law firm.  But now he's back in the race.


Jenkins says he finally listened to the will of the people who insisted he should run.  But, what about those civil suits and tax liens against him?  We decided to investigate the records at the Caddo Parish Clerk of Courts office at the Caddo Courthouse.  Here's what we found:  


There have been 54 separate tax liens against 'Sam L. Jenkins, Junior' in Caddo Parish in the last 30-years.  All but nine of those liens have now been resolved, orcanceledd, some very recently.  Of the 9 remains liens, all but one is under 300-dollars.  The other remaining lien totals just under 65-hundred dollars.


Then there are 22 separate civil suits involving Jenkins over the same time period.  Most of them have now been resolved, one way or another; but not all of them.  Despite the large paper trail, Sam Jenkins decided to run for Shreveport Mayor.


"My name is Sam Jenkins and I would like to be your next mayor."  Applause rang out for Shreveport City Councilman Sam Jenkins as he made that announcement during a Friday afternoon news conference on this August 15.  Jenkins expressed excitement and optimism about the future of Shreveport.  But, it's Jenkins' past that delayed this campaign announcement for five months.


"We want Sam.  We want Sam."  That was the chant back in March of this year from a group calling itself 'The Committee to Recruit Sam Jenkins.'  Despite those pleas for Jenkins to run for Mayor, the city councilman indefinitely postponed any campaign announcement.  That decision came after word that Jenkins faced several unresolved tax liens and civil suits against him.

Back in March, Jenkins told KSLA News 12, "I am working on those matters, I believe most of those are old. It's just a matter of getting them out of the records."


Jenkins blamed his financial troubles on his private law practice and his clients explaining, "I serve clienteleel who struggles to pay their bills and in doing so that effects me and my ability to take care of my business."


But then came Jenkins news conference on this Friday afternoon.  Jenkins told his supporters, "Let me begin this campaign by saying, 'I am not a perfect man.  But, I am a very prayerful man.'"


The questions is:  What has changed between March and August for him to jump in the mayor's race now.  Jenkins told reporters after the news conference, "What has happened over the past several months is I just talked to too many voters, too many citizens who would like to see me in the race."


Jenkins was later asked several times about any unresolved civil suits and tax liens, which initially kept him out of the race.  Jenkins' response was the same each time:  "We'll be talking about those issues in the days to come."


Instead, Jenkins said today was all about his big announcement.  "People who have come to me, and talked to me, want to talk about the condition of this city, the leadership for the city and to address the issues that they are having to get up every morning and deal with."


Jenkins says those issues, that matter most to voters, include public safety, road conditions, a lack of jobs and improving the quality of life in Shreveport.  There's no word yet from Jenkins, or his campaign, exactly when he will address those lingering questions about the unresolved civil suits and tax liens against him.

Other mayoral candidates include State Rep. Patrick Williams, State Rep. Roy Burrell, teacher Victoria Provenza and evangelist Melvin Slack, Jr. Former Caddo Parish public schools school superintendent Ollie Tyler announced her intention to run in May. Qualifying for the Nov. 4, 2014 primary and the Dec. 6, 2014 general begins August 20 and ends on August 22. 

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