Paradise Valley, AZSeptember 22, 2009:Against the symbolic backdrop ofCamelback Mountainjust before sunset, Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker is expected to make a major announcement regarding the 2010 Governor’s race on Wednesday evening. If he declares, Parker would be the first major candidate to jump into the gubernatorial race. The speech is expected to cover a wide range of topics facingArizona, the need for change, a new voice for the Arizona GOP and Parker’s amazing life story.
Several hundred people are expected at the September event of “Politics on the Rocks.”
Mayor Parker grew up inLong Beach, Californiain an area where it was as tough as it gets. There were times when Parker would arrive home from school to find furniture missing because his uncle had stolen and sold whatever he could carry away to support his heroin addiction. In a city where kids are more likely to succumb to gang affiliation, Vernon instead worked his way through community college and thepublic universityultimately graduating fromGeorgetown Law School. While attendingGeorgetown, Mayor Parker served as Editor in Chief of the Georgetown American Criminal Law Review.
After law school, Vernon served as General Counsel of theUnited States Office of Personnel Managementin Washington, DC, and he served in theWhite Houseas Special Assistant toPresident George H. W. Bush. He also servedPresident George W. Bushas the first everAssistant SecretaryforCivil Rightsfor theUnited States Department of Agriculture. TheU.S. Senateconfirmed him unanimously. He now serves as the Mayor of Paradise Valley, having won with a record 67 percent of the vote in 2008, in his first try for office.
Arizona voices view Mayor Parker’s possible run for governor favorably.
“Vernon is an excellent, compelling voice for theArizona Republican Partyin this state,” said Paul Gilbert, a prominent Valley attorney who served asGov. Mitt Romney’s Arizona Chairman during his 2008 run for president.
If elected governor Mayor Parker would be the firstAfrican AmericanRepublican governor in U.S. history.
“Mayor Parker is a stand-up guy with an unbelievable personal story. His candidacy would be very good for our Party and potentially our state,” saidMaricopa County SherriffJoe Arpaioqualifying that he has still not closed the door completely on running for governor himself and is not yet endorsing any candidate for governor if he does not run.
“Mayor Parker has served the residents of Paradise Valley well and would bring his collaborative style and strong leadership skills to the Governor's Office. I hope he decides to run because he is the kind of change we need in state leadership,” said Town of Paradise ValleyCouncilwomanPam Kirby.
Mayor Parker will be speaking at “Politics on the Rocks” tomorrow, September 23rdat 5:30pm. Over 300 people are expected to attend. The event will be held at theInterContinental Montelucia Resort and Spain Paradise Valley. The Resortis located at4949 E Lincoln Drive Paradise Valley, Arizona 85253.