Meet the Candidate – Ken Clayton for Associate Circuit Judge

Photo submitted Ken Clayton has served as an Associate Circuit Judge and sees that position as a sacred trust.  He is asking voters to place their confidence in him once again.

As a young boy, Ken Clayton used to play in his father’s law office after school.  Being around attorneys and the law was as natural to him as a fish swimming in a pond.  But it wasn’t until after he graduated from Rolla High School and he served as a peer advisor at Truman State University that he seriously considered law as a profession.  Helping other students navigate, make sense of, and find success in school led him to the University of Tulsa College of Law and a calling that would change his life and touch thousands more.

Meet the Man

Ken has been married to Carla for 21 years.  They have three children, live on a small farm, and are members of Greentree Christian Church.  They have a shelter dog named Baxter and a shelter cat named Molly, along with a few other cats that will remain anonymous.  His passion for his faith and his family is reflected in his character and his volunteer service in the community.  This past year, Ken spent many hours mentoring the State Champion Rolla High School Constitution Team, with one member, Thomas Booker, winning the award for Best Attorney in the District.

Meet the Professional

Photo submitted Meet the Clayton Family: Ken, his wife Carla, Molly the cat, Sam, age 11, Katelyn, age 9, and Audra (kneeling), age 12, holding Baxter the dog

After graduating from law school and receiving his Juris Doctorate, Ken served as a public defender in Pulaski County, a prosecuting attorney for Phelps County, and had a successful private practice.  He taught criminal justice courses at Columbia College and Drury University.  In 2013, he was appointed by the Governor to fill a two-year vacancy as Associate Circuit Judge, successfully proving that he is more than qualified to serve as Associate Circuit Judge – Division I and Probate.

The Neighborhood is Talking

At a recent fundraiser, friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, and former clients were more than willing to express their support for Ken Clayton.


“Ken Clayton is the best candidate in the race and that is why I support him whole-heartedly, without reservation.  I’ve practiced law in Phelps County for 38 years.  I know Ken to be an attorney of integrity and experience. He is a great family man with exemplary credentials and qualifications.”  Kent Robinson, President and CEO Phelps County Bank.

“As a prosecutor, Ken was good to work with.  He had a good relationship with law enforcement and was willing to teach the newer troopers how to do their job well.  He is very fair.”  Corporal Mark Ward, Missouri Highway Patrol.

Photo submitted Elizabeth Coppinger has worked for Ken Clayton at the Clayton Law Office for over three years. Elizabeth, her husband, Stephen, and their eight-year-old son, Conor, believe that Ken Clayton is the best man for the job and are working hard to see that he is elected, despite knowing that, should he win, she will lose her favorite job.

It’s been said that a man’s reputation is what others think about him, but his character is what God and his parents know about him.  That being said, Ken’s parents are his greatest supporters.  His father, former Judge John Clayton, stated, “A judge should follow the law and Constitution, even if it generates a result that you don’t like.  Ken did it before; he’ll do it again.”  Ken’s mother was even more emphatic!  “I’ll tell you exactly why he will make a good judge,” she said.  “I remember a time when a little girl had to appear before him in his courtroom over a custody issue.  She was in tears because she had perfect school attendance and court was going to ruin that for her.  Ken suspended court, went back to his chambers, and took time to write a personal note to the school on behalf of that little girl.  Ken is compassionate and thoughtful.  He treats everyone with respect, no matter who they are.”


On Tuesday, August 7th, voters will be given the opportunity to vote for Ken Clayton for Associate Circuit Judge – Division I and Probate.  The winner of that race will then be voted on in the general election on November 6th, without opposition.


This Meet the Candidate feature has been paid for by Ken Clayton. 

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