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Kansas lawmaker to resign after helping to launch nonprofit

Brett Parker Pic.jpg
Posted at 12:02 PM, May 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-11 13:02:26-04

TOPEKA, Kan. — A Kansas House member says he will resign later this year after helping to launch a nonprofit group aiming to energize low-turnout voters and help liberal candidates and ballot initiatives.

Democratic state Rep. Brett Parker of Overland Park announced his decision in an email Tuesday to fellow lawmakers. He said he will spend more time with his family and explore "new career possibilities" while also finding new ways to support fellow Democrats and their policies. He did not set a date for his resignation.

Parker, a former teacher, was first elected to the House in 2016, and he's the top Democrat on its health committee. He also serves on the Appropriations and Elections Committee.

He's been a vocal supporter of expanding the Medicaid program, a strong critic of Republican measures tightening voting laws and an abortion rights advocate.

He is executive director of Prairie Roots, a group formed with former Kansas state Sen. Barbara Bolllier, the Democrats' nominee for the U.S. Senate last year. Bollier is the chair of the group's board.

The group launched last week and said it plans to build a "year-round operation" for community organizing and "deep" voter canvassing.

Democrats in Parker's 29th House District will choose his replacement once he steps down.