Overland Park Rep. Brett Parker to resign and plans to lead political organization group


Brett Parker, a representative for the three-term Democratic state of Overland Park, said he plans to step down from his seat after this year’s legislative session officially ends.

In an email to supporters on Tuesday and in a repeat post to Twitter and the Shawnee Mission Post, Parker said he plans to “devote more time to the most important people in my life and explore the next steps. of my career ”.

Parker’s full e-mail statement reads as follows:

“Serving in the House has been the privilege of a lifetime, but it comes with a lot of personal sacrifice. I gave everything I had to my mandate and I am proud of the work in which I have participated. In the future, I look forward to devoting more time to the most important people in my life and exploring the next steps in my career. “

Political organization in the future

Parker is set to become the executive director of Prairie Roots, a nonprofit created in coordination with former Kansas State Senator Barbara Bollier.

In a press release this week, the group described themselves as a “centralized volunteer organization for community organizing and in-depth prospecting across Kansas to build a year-round operation. ”

Bollier, a Mission Hills resident and former candidate for the US Senate, will be chairman of the board of Prairie Roots.

“To live up to our history as a Free State, we need to make sure Kansas is a place where every voice is heard, everyone is welcome, and everyone can prosper. The Kansans need a policy that reflects their values, ”Parker quoted in the statement.

The statement said the group’s initial goal will be to organize voters in Sedgwick County around Wichita.

Teacher turned legislator

Parker was a public school teacher and political newcomer when he first ran in 2016, when he beat outgoing Republican James Todd.

Parker, who grew up in Olathe, was a teacher in the Olathe School District when he first ran for office and remained with the district during his early years in office before officially leaving the district on last year.

Funding education has proven to be one of his top priorities in Topeka, along with the expansion of Medicaid and a bipartisan approach to redistribution.

He has also repeatedly denounced the efforts of the Republican-controlled legislature to add new limits to voting.

“I am grateful to so many people for supporting me and believing in me. I am so proud of the work of our Democratic caucus day after day in Topeka. They will continue to make us all proud, ”Parker tweeted Tuesday.

What happens next

Deann Mitchell, president of the Johnson County Democratic Party, said that once Parker officially steps down, the Kansas House District 29 constituency leaders will meet to elect a replacement for the remainder of Parker’s term, who will go through the legislative session of 2022.

This must happen within 21 days of Parker’s official resignation.

Parker has said he will step down sometime after the official end of the 2021 session, which will take place on May 26.

He said he was now announcing his intention to give “enough time” to anyone who would potentially want to compete for the District 29 seat.


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