Charles "Benny" Neal, candidate for Rockingham County Circuit Court clerk, wants voters to know the naked truth about his past.

Twenty-eight years ago, he posed in the buff for Playgirl magazine.

"I am not going to run from this," Neal said. "I am going to run with it."

Neal, 49, figured his past would be exposed anyway after his own Internet search turned up a reference to his failed attempt to parlay the modeling job into a music career. So why not come forward from the start?

Good call, said James Madison University political science professor Bob Roberts, who predicted some voters will give Neal credit for confronting the issue head-on. His advice to Neal: Take a humorous approach.

Neal, a self-employed businessman and one of eight candidates for the clerk's job, said that's his plan.

"If I can get them to smile about it, I might get their vote."