It’s been nearly 20 years since most Mississippians have heard from former Congressman Mike Parker. Hence it is not of super substantial political importance in Mississippi that he is now endorsing Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden. But there is a growing trend of moderate/liberal Republicans publicly voicing support either for Joe Biden or against Donald Trump.
Parker is now part of more than two dozen former Republican Congressmen who announced their support for the former Vice President in a release touting ‘Republicans for Biden,’ an effort headlined by former Arizona U.S. Senator Jeff Flake, an outspoken critic of the President Donald Trump.
The announcement comes as the Republican National Convention officially gets underway today.
Parker represented Mississippi’s old 4th Congressional District for 5 terms (10 years) in the 1990s. Known at one point as a conservative Democrat in the U.S. House, he switched to the Republican Party in 1995 after the GOP gained the majority. The New York Times reported on Parker’s switch, noting that Johnnie Walls, then chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party, warned that other party switchers in the state had been defeated. Parker won reelection following the switch.
“I truly believe the party that is moving this country in the right direction is the Republican Party,” Parker was quoted as saying in NYT. “I think it is our last best chance to do that.”
Parker did not seek reelection in 1998, choosing instead to run for Governor in 1999. After a close race against then Lt. Governor Ronnie Musgrove, Parker lost the election after the Democrat controlled Mississippi House of Representatives voted 86-36 to seat Musgrove after the two split the popular vote in the House Districts 61-61.
Parker was later appointed by former President George W. Bush as Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works in late 2001. His tenure was short lived after he spoke out against the Administration to promote the Corps of Engineers priorities. He was asked to leave his post within 6 months.
The full list of former GOP Congressional leaders who have announced support for Biden for President is below:
- Senator Jeff Flake (AZ)
- Senator Gordon Humphrey (NH)
- Senator John Warner (VA)
- Congressman Steve Bartlett (TX)
- Congressman Bill Clinger (PA)
- Congressman Tom Coleman (MO)
- Congressman Charlie Dent (PA)
- Congressman Charles Djou (HI)
- Congressman Mickey Edwards (OK)
- Congressman Wayne Gilchrest (MD)
- Congressman Jim Greenwood (PA)
- Congressman Bob Inglis (SC)
- Congressman Jim Kolbe (AZ)
- Congressman Steve Kuykendall (CA)
- Congressman Ray LaHood (IL)
- Congressman Jim Leach (IA)
- Congresswoman Susan Molinari (NY)
- Congresswoman Connie Morella (MD)
- Congressman Mike Parker (MS)
- Congressman Jack Quinn (NY)
- Congresswoman Claudine Schneider (RI)
- Congressman Christopher Shays (CT)
- Congressman Peter Smith (VT)
- Congressman Alan Steelman (TX)
- Congressman Jim Walsh (NY)
- Congressman Bill Whitehurst (VA)
- Congressman Dick Zimmer (NJ)