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State committeeman resigns after alleged racial remarks

Florida Democrats called for John Parker to apologize, step down

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – John Parker stepped down Wednesday from his post as state committeeman and his membership with the Democratic National Committee amid outcry over racially-charged remarks he was alleged to have made.

The news comes a day after State Rep. Kimberly Daniels, D-Jacksonville, issued a call for Parker's resignation. Daniels' statement pointed to an incident in January, during which she said he referred to African Americans as "colored people." 

Word of Parker's resignation came in a statement from his wife, Lisa King, chair of the Duval County Democratic Executive Committee.

“Although he has dedicated over 35 years of service, his statements and actions necessitated his departure," King said.

King added that she must serve all members and lead the party even when it is at odds with those closest to her. 

“All of our members deserve a party that prioritizes and models diversity and respect,” she said.

Below is a copy of the statement released Tuesday by Daniels' office:

John Parker allegedly referred to African Americans as “colored people” and offered other disgraceful comments about integration at a restaurant in January 2018. Preceding this instance, he allegedly referred to the Working People Caucus as the “Poor Black People Working Caucus” and called a constituent the “mayor’s mammy.”  

Unlike, other leaders in Florida, even after a request from the Florida Black Caucus, Mr. Parker has not resigned. Several DEC members appealed to party leadership for an investigation. DEC Chair Lisa King, who is married to Mr. Parker, denied these appeals, even though she was present when the alleged remarks were made. It is my opinion that Mrs. King did not address the situation in a timely and proper manner. 

While I believe Mr. Parker should apologize, an apology alone will not suffice. The purpose of this letter is to respectfully request that John Parker and his wife, Lisa King, immediately resign. Our city deserves unwavering leadership that is sensitive, inclusive and responsive to the concerns of the people.  
Mrs. King’s silence on the matter, until released in the media, demonstrated her complicity. The Democratic Party of Duval County is ready to move forward. This obstacle can no longer be an impediment.