When Political Opportunity Knocks, Paradise Valley Mayor Answers; Vernon Parker Bails on Gov's Race to Run for Congress
Paradise Valley Mayor and political rookie Vernon Parker's PR honcho, Jason Rose, reluctantly confirmed to New Times today that the mayor is dropping out of the race for governor and is planning on filing paperwork this week to officially make him a candidate for the congressional seat being vacated by Congressman John Shadegg.
Parker, in his second year as the volunteer mayor of Paradise Valley, had been feverishly campaigning to remove Governor Jan Brewer from the top of the Republican ticket for this year's gubernatorial race.
Click here to check out him stirring up some lump-meat crab salad on 3TV yesterday morning, as promoted on his Twitter page under the moniker "Parker4Gov."
Might be time to change that Twitter handle, Vernon.
There have been rumors that this lane-change was on the horizon since Shadegg announced his retirement last week, and many Valley Fever readers have questioned the mayor's sincerity as a result -- calling it a standard case of political opportunism.
We're not sure if it's political opportunism, or a reality check for Parker, as the field of Republican gubernatorial candidates has grown more competitive, and Parker continues to poll below most of the potential candidates
In a November Rasmussen poll, he wasn't even mentioned by name.
Rose told us the mayor would call us so we could find out his motivation for the switcheroo, but Parker never got back to us. Rather, he put out a press release outlining his decision.
"The biggest constant in my public life has been the need to serve to the fullest, to use whatever talent God has given me to the utmost degree possible," Parker says.
Interesting -- it seems that since becoming mayor, Parker has "served" primarily as a professional candidate for some other office.
He goes on: "I believe my skills, my experience, and my passion are made for Congress. I believe I can make the biggest difference for my neighbors and my fellow Arizonans there. Since learning of Congressman Shadegg's decision, my supporters have overwhelmingly
encouraged me in this direction."
Parker probably will face a growing number of Republicans also interested in this job, too, including state Senators Jim Waring and Pam Gorman.
Vernon, what if John McCain or Jon Kyl announce they're retiring, too. Would a U.S. Senate bid be in the offing for you? Guess you'd have to change your Twitter handle to "Parker4U.S.Senate," right. Maybe not.