Rep. Kevin Parker announces his retirement from the state Legislature
'What I do as an elected official needs to take a back seat to my role as a father and husband,' says Parker
Rep. Kevin Parker, R-Spokane, announced today he will not seek reelection to the state House of Representatives. Parker, who is serving his fourth term as a state representative, said he wanted to honor his kids' request that he be around more.
“Serving the citizens of Spokane and the 6th District has truly been one of the highest honors of my life,” said Parker. “Engaging with people and finding solutions to their problems is an abundantly rewarding occupation. But I've always said that what I do cannot trump my role. And what I do as an elected official needs to take a back seat to my role as a father and husband.”
Parker was known as a compassionate conservative focusing on solutions to help the less fortunate in his district and around the state. He said his most memorable achievements were legislation providing temporary IDs to the homeless to enable them to find work and this year's Cancer Can't bill allowing certain expensive cancer drugs to be included in the state's charitable pharmacy program.
“I've always believed it's more compassionate, more sustainable and more American to give a hand up rather than a handout,” said Parker. “Conservatives have compassionate solutions to help those truly in need but are often times drowned out by the noise from outside influences.”
In recent years, Parker became more involved in the state budget negotiations as the assistant ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee.
“Being involved in the budget-writing process and the budget negotiations the last few years was extremely exciting,” said Parker. “I'm honored my colleagues saw fit to choose me for that position. Working on budget solutions for sustainability, transparency and accountability has been one of the highlights of my legislative career.”
In the end, Parker said he hopes he's remembered as a hard worker whose door was always open to anyone and any ideas. But with three children at home and special sessions becoming the norm, the long months away from home caused him to look hard at his priorities.
“I've always been a family first guy,” said Parker. “It's never been a campaign slogan or a stump speech; it's how I've lived my life. And now I'm looking forward to spending more time with my family at home in Spokane.”
###Washington State House Republican Communications