Meet Clay Atkinson
I was born July 6th 1975 at Virginia Beach General Hospital on First Colonial Road to John T. Atkinson and Elizabeth W. Atkinson. I share my birthday with notables like our 43rd President, George W. Bush, and comedian Kevin Hart, plus it is also National Fried Chicken Day (this might explain my insatiable love of southern fried chicken).
I grew up in Virginia Beach and attended Linkhorn Park Elementary, Virginia Beach Jr. High, and First Colonial High School. While at First Colonial, I was on the varsity wrestling team and started 6 matches and made it as far as regionals my senior year. Growing up in Virginia Beach, I enjoyed swimming, surfing, biking, and especially sailing. In the fall of 1994, I started my Freshman year at Virginia Tech and graduated in 1998 with a Liberal Arts Degree.
After college, I returned to Virginia Beach to get my real estate license and began working as a property manager at Sandbridge Realty. Then, in 2000, I moved my license to my family’s company, Atkinson Realty, founded in 1943 by my grandfather, Frank V. Atkinson, where I have been ever since.
In 2001, I met my future wife, Jennifer Atkinson, at a restaurant on Shore Dr. and in 2003, we were married at St Paul’s in Norfolk and have enjoyed 16 years of marriage to an amazing woman. In 2011, we were blessed to add our daughter, Rachel, to our family.
I was baptized and confirmed at Galilee Episcopal Church on 40th St and Pacific Ave and enjoy attending and volunteering for church events.
Starting at a young age, I can remember my father taking me to numerous political events like the Republican breakfast, various campaign rallies, and victory parties. My most formative memories of my political identity was reading an interview my father gave to the Virginia Pilot where he said people should not look to government to solve their problems. This simple statement, to me, just sounded right and had a massive impact on forming my opinions on what government should and shouldn’t be doing. That statement was the seed that grew into my beliefs that government needs to be limited, not expanded, should be fiscally responsible, have low taxes, protect life and liberty, encourage personal responsibility, and provide equal justice to all. When looking to become politically engaged, it was clear that only the Republican Party’s values lined up close to my own.