Vernon Parker

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Vernon Parker
Mayor of Paradise Valley, Arizona
In office
2008–2010
Personal details
Born (1959-11-16) November 16, 1959 (age 54)[1]
Houston, Texas
Political party Republican
Residence Paradise Valley, Arizona
Alma mater Georgetown University Law Center
Occupation Paradise Valley Councilmember
Religion Christian
Website Campaign website

Vernon B. Parker (born November 16, 1959) is an American and politician. He is a member of the Republican Party. Parker served as the Mayor of Paradise Valley, Arizona from 2008 to 2010 and as a Paradise Valley councilmember.

Parker was the Republican nominee in Arizona's 9th congressional district for the 2012 election, although he did not live in the district at the time.

Early Life, Education and Career[edit]

Parker was born in Houston, Texas to a poor mother and was eventually sent to live with his grandmother in Long Beach, California.[2] He did well in high school and attended Long Beach Community College.[3] He then attended California State University, Long Beach where he majored in Finance, and upon graduation began to work at Rockwell International. He purchased a house at this time, but sold it when he got an offer to attend Georgetown University Law School.[3] At Georgetown, he served as editor-in-chief of the Georgetown American Criminal Law Review.[4] His Grandmother and Mother worked cleaning houses to help him make it through law school, and his brother gave him all the money he could spare. "I realized that me going to law school was not as an individual, but as something for my family, something for my community." He said in an interview with the American Spectator.[3]

At law school, after being spurned by graduates of Ivy League Universities, he was part of a study group with non-Ivy League students, where he met his future wife, who had attended Arizona State.[3]

Parker once had his own law firm as well as his own small business.[5] Parker had served as interim Pastor of his Church. He is a Member of Greater Phoenix Salvation Army Advisory Board, he had served on the board of Christian Family Care Agency and served on the board of Starshine Academy Charter School.[5]

Political career[edit]

After finishing his law degree, Parker worked on George H.W. Bush's 1988 presidential campaign and went on to serve on the staff of the Office of Personnel Management for 4 years.[3] His first position in the federal government as counselor to the director of the Office of Personnel Management(OPM). He was simultaneously the director of policy for OPM.[4] Two years into his career with OPM, he was appointed general counsel.[4] He was then named Special Assistant to the President on the White House Staff.

In 2003, he was appointed Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Civil Rights[4] in the George W. Bush Administration and served in that position for more than 3 years, commuting between his home in Arizona and Washington D.C.[3]

He was elected to the Paradise Valley City Council in 2008 with 67% of the vote and chosen by the council to serve as mayor. He is the first African-American Mayor of Paradise Valley, a mostly white city.[5]

On January 29, 2010, Parker announced he was running for Congress in Arizona's 3rd congressional district, aiming to succeed retiring U.S. Congressman John Shadegg.[6] Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, former Congressman and Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party Matt Salmon and Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCicco have endorsed his candidacy. He raised over $230,000 in the first quarter of 2010 for his bid. His bid was eventually unsuccessful.

In 2012, he was elected to serve a second term on the Paradise Valley town council. He resigned later that year to focus on his run for Congress, and the Paradise Town Council will appointed someone to fill out the remainder of his term.

In 2012, Parker ran for the United States House of Representatives in Arizona's 9th district. He won the Republican nomination on August 28, 2012, but lost to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema in the November election.[7]

In 2014, Parker ran for the Republican nomination for the Arizona Corporation Commission on a ticket with former state legislator Lucy Mason. As of July 18, 2014, over $400,000 of dark money was spent attempting to defeat Parker and Mason.[8] The anonymous funds were widely speculated in the media to have been provided by Arizona Public Service, the state's leading electricity company, in response to the candidates' open support of the rooftop solar industry.[9] Parker's campaign website also posted an APS company memo, signed by its parent company's CEO Donald Brandt, encouraging its employees to vote against them in the primary election.[10] Parker was publicly endorsed by rooftop solar advocacy group Tell Utilities Solar Won't Be Killed (TUSK).[11]

Controversies[edit]

Small Business Administration Controversy[edit]

In 2008, at the request of Democratic Congresswoman Nadia Velasquez, Vernon Parker was investigated by the SBA OIG. The investigation was so flawed that Paul Charlton, former United States Attorney for Arizona has said that never in his 17 years as a prosecutor has he seen such a poorly written, flawed investigation. “They tried to hide material that would have proven Vernon’s innocence." [12] The allegations in the investigation were never accepted by the SBA and Parker was cleared of all charges.[13] Instead, the SBA chose to terminate Parker's contract because they claimed he was an employee at the time he applied for the program. Parker and his attorneys disputed this but chose instead to sue the SBA OIG for abuse of investigation. That case was dismissed on jurisdictional grounds. Parker appealed that decision and it is now pending before the Ninth Circuit.

Personal life[edit]

Parker and his wife Lisa have two children, Sonya and Ian. They currently live in Arizona.

References[edit]

External links[edit]