Clark Jolley comes from modest roots. The son of a farm boy from southern Georgia and a secretary from southeast Oklahoma, Clark grew up in Del City, Oklahoma. Clark’s father, Paul, was a World War II veteran and instilled in him the values of hard work, caring for family, faith in God, and a love for state and country. Clark’s mom, Margaret, was a secretary who grew up in a section house in Grant, Oklahoma and taught Clark the value of being grateful for what we’ve been provided.
Born at Baptist Hospital in Oklahoma City, Clark attended public schools in Del City, finally graduating from Del City High School. Four years later, he walked across the stage at Oklahoma Baptist University with two Bachelor degrees, one in Music Education and one in Political Science. He worked in the Washington offices of Senator David Boren and Congressman Mickey Edwards between semesters, but ultimately made the decision to return home to attend graduate school. He graduated law school at the University of Oklahoma in 1995 and established a private law practice. Within two years, he was appointed as an Administrative Law Judge for the Oklahoma Department of Labor and later became a Barrister member of the Robert J. Turner American Inn of Court.
Having done his student teaching in the Edmond Public Schools and becoming familiar with the Edmond community through his work at Henderson Hills Baptist Church, Clark made the decision to move permanently to the Edmond area in 1994. He immediately became an active leader in the Edmond community. Clark’s leadership was again recognized when he was first elected to serve the people of Edmond in the Oklahoma Senate. His service to the community has continued throughout his tenure in the Legislature. Even after being elected, he served as the 2006-07 President of the Rotary Club of Edmond, where he was honored as the 2006 recipient of the George Mikesell Rotarian of the Year Award and is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow. An accomplished musician, Jolley serves as a Worship Assistant at Henderson Hills, and has since October, 1990. He also finds time to serve on the board of the Fine Arts Institute of Edmond.
While championing conservative principles for the people of Senate District 41, Clark also earned the trust of his colleagues and has built a reputation as an effective, hard-working legislative leader. He was selected by his colleagues to serve as a Whip and then Assistant Majority Floor Leader for the Senate. His acute willingness to cut wasteful government spending and lower taxes was again recognized in 2011, when he was asked to serve as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. During his tenure in the Senate, he has chaired the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education, the Health and Human Services Committee, the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services and the Select Committee on Redistricting. Nationally, Clark served several years as Vice Chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Education Committee, where he also sits as a member of the Task Force on Dropout Prevention.
While in law school, he met a girl from Ponca City. After proposing to her at Oklahoma State’s 1996 homecoming, he married Verlyne Simmons in June, 1997. Today, they have two children, Lauren and Alex, both of whom attend Edmond Public Schools.