Appeals court candidate Crenshaw receives warm reception

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 29, 2006

Family, friends and supporters turned out on Tuesday night at Just Julie's to welcome home a native son who is running for office.

Clay Crenshaw, a Greenville native, is seeking Place 3 on the Court of Criminal Appeals on the Republican ticket.

Supporters Cody Wesley and Drew Bass organized the fundraiser for Crenshaw, with refreshments provided by cafe owner Julie Autrey.

The candidate's mother, Kathy Crenshaw of Greenville, along with wife Jane and son Clayton, joined Crenshaw on Tuesday night.

&#8220Jane and I will celebrate 13 years of marriage in June…she's been a fourth grade teacher for 16 years. Unlike me, my son Clayton is a great, great student,” Crenshaw said with a grin, adding,

&#8220My daughter, Elizabeth, is playing softball; otherwise she would be here tonight.”

He thanked all those who could give financial support for his campaign.

&#8220I recently went to a fundraiser for Kay Ivey. She told everyone she appreciated their help in getting her ‘locked and loaded'…well, I don't have the funds she does, but what we receive tonight will help me be as ‘locked and loaded' as I can.”

Crenshaw, who has worked with the Attorney General's office since 1998 as the chief of the Capital Case Division, said he had &#8220been in training for the job (on the court of criminal appeals) for 16 years.”

The Capital Case Division prosecutes death penalty appeals in state and federal courts. Since Crenshaw became chief, the division has won over 90 percent of capital case appeals.

He has also served on the Criminal Rules Committee since 2002, written briefs and argued hundreds of cases in various courts throughout the state.

Crenshaw said his desire was to see cases move more swiftly through the court system.

&#8220I, along with crime victims and their families, am frustrated to see some cases taking so long. The length of time some cases are in the court system – I'm talking years and years – ought to shock you.”

The candidate promised, if elected, to decide all cases, including capital cases, within six months of assignment.

&#8220I would like to see all our appellate courts decide their cases in a timely manner, also.”

Crenshaw, who faces three challengers in the Republican Primary, said he is working hard to make it to the runoff.

&#8220I feel like I am the best qualified candidate. My goal is to get my name out to the people, and everything counts,” Crenshaw said.

&#8220We think Clay's the right guy for the job. We appreciate everyone for turning out tonight and supporting him, and we thank Julie for being such a gracious hostess, as always,” Bass said.

Crenshaw is also a member of the First United Methodist Church of Montgomery where he taught Children's Sunday School for 10 years. He is a graduate of the Stephen Ministry Program.

To learn more about Crenshaw's campaign, go to