Mark Parkinson (Kansas politician)

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For the member of the Missouri House of Representatives, see Mark Parkinson (Missouri politician).
Mark Parkinson
Mark Parkinson.jpg
45th Governor of Kansas
In office
April 28, 2009 – January 10, 2011
Lieutenant Troy Findley
Preceded by Kathleen Sebelius
Succeeded by Sam Brownback
47th Lieutenant Governor of Kansas
In office
January 4, 2007 – April 28, 2009
Governor Kathleen Sebelius
Preceded by John Moore
Succeeded by Troy Findley
Personal details
Born (1957-06-24) June 24, 1957 (age 57)
Wichita, Kansas, U.S.
Political party Republican Party (Before 2006)
Democratic Party (2006–present)
Spouse(s) Stacy Abbott
Children Alex
Sam
Kit
Alma mater Wichita State University
University of Kansas, Lawrence
Religion Methodism
Website Official website at the Wayback Machine (archived October 15, 2009)

Mark V. Parkinson (born June 24, 1957) is the president and chief executive officer of the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL). A former Republican, Parkinson is currently a member of the Democratic Party. He was the 45th Governor of Kansas and a member of both the Kansas House of Representatives and the Kansas Senate.

Early life and career[edit]

Parkinson was born in Wichita, Kansas, into a family which has its roots in Scott City, where they still own a farm. Parkinson graduated from Wichita Heights High School before graduating Summa Cum Laude from Wichita State University in 1980 and finishing first in his class at the University of Kansas Law School in 1984. Parkinson then entered private practice, forming his own law practice of Parkinson, Foth & Orrick. In 1996, Parkinson left his law practice to develop elder care facilities.

Political career[edit]

Parkinson entered Kansas politics as a Republican in 1990. He served in the Kansas House of Representatives from 1991 to 1992 and the Kansas Senate from 1993 to 1997.[1] From 1999 to 2003 he was Chairman of the Kansas Republican Party.[1] In 2004 he served as chairman of the Shawnee Area Chamber of Commerce board, and in 2005, served as the "Chair of the Chairs" of the six Chambers of Commerce in Johnson County.

Party switch[edit]

In May 2006, Governor Kathleen Sebelius announced that Parkinson had switched parties and was her running mate for her reelection campaign, succeeding retiring lieutenant governor John E. Moore (also a former Republican who had switched parties shortly before he joined a ticket with Sebelius).[1] Parkinson's business experience and track record of working with both Republicans and Democrats were the reasons Sebelius gave for choosing him.[1]

The Kansas Republican Party immediately labeled Parkinson a hypocrite, citing 2002 quotes where Parkinson called Sebelius a "left-wing liberal Democrat" and claimed that any Republicans who supported her were "either insincere or uninformed."[1] Parkinson responded to the criticism by saying he had doubted Sebelius four years earlier, but came to believe she provided "independent leadership" for the state. He stated: "In an age where leaders duck responsibility and dodge their mistakes let me be the first to say: I was wrong."[1] Some viewed his switch as opportunism; others felt his decision was another example of the bitter divide between moderates and conservatives in the Kansas Republican Party, and that the move encouraged more moderate Republican voters to move closer to the Democratic Party.[2]

As of present date Parkinson is the only man to serve as delegate for both RNC and DNC elections. Parkinson is also the only Democratic Governor to succeed a Democratic Governor in Kansas history.

Ascension to governor[edit]

In March 2009, Barack Obama announced Governor Sebelius as his nominee for U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.[3] Sebelius resigned following her confirmation April 28, 2009, and Parkinson was sworn in as Governor of Kansas the same day.[4] Parkinson stated he would not be a candidate for Governor in 2010.[5]

During his term as governor, Kansas developed a comprehensive energy policy and a ten-year transportation plan for maintaining the state's infrastructure. Citing his bipartisan support and ability to move the state forward in challenging economic times, The Topeka Capital-Journal named Parkinson "Kansan of the Year" in 2009.[6]

Elder care[edit]

Beginning in 1996, Parkinson helped develop ten elder care facilities in Kansas and Missouri. During this time he served as a founder, developer and chief executive officer of facilities offering skilled nursing care, assisted living, and dementia-related care. He earned national recognition for the design of one of his assisted living facilities, and the title of "Outstanding Business in Northeast Johnson County" for his company.

In late 2010, Parkinson was honored by the Kansas Advocates for Better Care (KABC) for his work in elder care. Governor Parkinson received the organization’s second annual Caring Award, which is given to recognize exemplary contributions of leadership in providing quality care for frail elders and persons with disabilities in Kansas.[7]

Parkinson is currently president and chief executive officer of the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL),[8] which represents more than 11,000 for- and not-for-profit nursing homes, assisted living residences, and facilities for the care of people with mental retardation and developmental disabilities.

Electoral history[edit]

Kansas State House 014 election, 1990[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Mark Parkinson 2,880 71.73 -
Democratic Michael R. Norlen 1,135 28.27 -

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Twiddy, David (2006-05-31). "Kan. Gov. Selects Running Mate for Race". Associated Press (The Washington Post). Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  2. ^ Moon, Chris (2006-06-02). "Parkinson's party switch causes debate". The Topeka Capital-Journal. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  3. ^ "Obama Taps Kansas Gov. Sebelius as Health Secretary". FOXNews.com. 2009-03-01. Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  4. ^ Goldstein, David; Klepper, David (2009-04-28). "Sebelius sworn in to Cabinet, Parkinson becomes Kansas governor". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  5. ^ Baker, Peter; Pear, Robert (2009-02-19). "Kansas Governor Seen as Top Choice in Health Post". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  6. ^ Carlson, James (2009-12-26). "Meet C-J's Kansan of the Year". The Topeka Capital-Journal. Retrieved 2011-02-01. 
  7. ^ Lehman, Katherine (2010-10-18). "AHCA/NCAL Incoming President & CEO Presented Elder Care Award". American Health Care Association. Retrieved 2011-02-04. "Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson, the incoming President & CEO of the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) was honored yesterday by the Kansas Advocates for Better Care (KABC). Governor Parkinson received the organization’s second annual Caring Award." 
  8. ^ Lehman, Katherine (2010-09-13). "AHCA/NCAL Names Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson as Next President and CEO". American Health Care Association. Retrieved 2011-01-17. "The nation’s largest long term care association, the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), today announced that Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson has been selected as its next President and CEO. Governor Parkinson will begin his term with AHCA/NCAL in January following his term in office." 
  9. ^ "KS State House 014". KSSOS. 1990-11-06. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
John Moore
Lieutenant Governor of Kansas
2007–2009
Succeeded by
Troy Findley
Preceded by
Kathleen Sebelius
Governor of Kansas
2009–2011
Succeeded by
Sam Brownback