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Birthdate: Nov. 16, 1959
Birth Place: Houston, TX, United States
Residence: Paradise Valley, AZ
Vernon Parker was born in Houston, Texas, but grew up in Long Beach, Calif. He earned an associate degree from Long Beach Community College, a a bachelor's from California State University-Long Beach and a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Parker now lives in Paradise Valley, where he served as mayor from 2008 to 2010. He stepped down from his seat on the Town Council in September 2012 to focus on his congressional run.
Parker beat out six others to secure the GOP nomination for Arizona's 9th Congressional District seat in the August 2012 primary. He lost a bid for the 3rd District seat in 2010.
Parker served as special assistant to former President George H.W. Bush and served as an assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Agriculture in President George W. Bush's administration.
He also has worked as a financial analyst, practiced law with his wife and runs a general consulting business. Parker led his congregation at Calvary Church of the Valley as interim pastor for two years.
He and his wife, Lisa, have two children.
Vernon Parker beat out six other Republicans in the August 2012 primary for the party's nomination in the newly created 9th Congressional District.
Parker, a former mayor of Paradise Valley, said he cut spending by 30 percent in the town, reduced staff and streamlined government during the recession. He says he'll halt out-of-control spending by the federal government if elected to Congress.
Parker launched an exploratory effort for a gubernatorial bid in 2010 that looked more like a full-fledged campaign. He was seen as a viable challenger to now Gov. Jan Brewer, but Parker abandoned that bid to seek a congressional seat. He lost in the GOP primary for the 3rd District seat to replace then-Rep. John Shadegg, who did not seek re-election in 2010.
Parker stepped down from his seat on the Paradise Valley Town Council in September 2012 to focus on his bid for the 9th District seat.
Parker served in the administrations of both Presidents Bush, as an assistant to the elder Bush and as an assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the latter administration. He also served as an aide for the unsuccessful campaigns of two GOP gubernatorial candidates.
Parker has been a strong supporter of the right to bear arms and of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who endorsed him in his first bid for Congress. Parker was chairman of "Defend Sheriff Joe," an advocacy group that aimed at protecting the sheriff's reputation and opposing politicians who support amnesty for illegal immigrants.
As Paradise Valley mayor in 2009, Parker filed papers for an independent expenditure committee to oppose Brewer's proposal for a temporary sales tax increase that voters ultimately approved. He had said the increase would devastate the economy.
As a U.S. representative, Parker said he would work to reduce the corporate tax rate so that the U.S. could be competitive globally and to increase jobs. He also wants to replace the 2010 health care reform law with something that provides initiatives for the private sector and removes the authority of the federal government. Tort and regulatory reform, and ensuring that children have access to affordable education round out Parker's priorities.
Source: Associated Press
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