While his age and declining health kept him out of the public spotlight in recent years, there was a time when Clarence E. Jackson was one of the top leaders of the Democratic Party in Boyd County. Jackson died Monday at 83. He was buried Friday.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Jackson represented the 100th District in the Kentucky House of Representatives, and he used that position to be an advocate in Frankfort for Ashland and northeast Kentucky. He worked with other area legislators such as Rep. Rocky Adkins and the late Sen. Nelson Robert Allen to help bring funding for the A-A Highway and the Simeon Willis Bridge.
We didn’t always agree with Jackson while he was in the General Assembly. For example, we were disappointed when he voted against the Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990, one of the most important pieces of legislation in the last half century. However, even though we sometimes disagreed, we never questioned Jackson always did what he thought was best for his district and for Kentucky,
When he lost his seat in the House of Representatives to the late Don Farley, Jackson did not retire from public life. Instead, he served several terms on the Boyd County Fiscal Court, and at one time, he was considered one of the favorites to be elected Boyd County judge-executive. However, that was one goal he never attained.
When not busy in politics, Jackson was a steelmaker, serving 44 years as a steel pourer at Armco Steel’s Ashland Works. His career as a hard-working laborer at the local mill endeared him to his fellow Steelworkers, and Jackson could always depend on the support of United Steelworkers 1865 and other labor unions when he ran for office.
Clarence Jackson was a common man who was not well-educated or particularly articulate. But he had a love for public service and spent most of his adult life trying to help this community. He served Ashland and Boyd County well.