State Sen. Kevin Parker (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace, Park Slope) confirmed today he has opened up an exploratory committee to possibly run for the city comptroller seat in the 2021 citywide elections.
The seat will open up as current Comptroller Scott Stringer is term-limited. Parker has a strong background in financial matters and currently serves on the Senate’s Finance Committee, and previously served on both the banking and Insurance Committees. He also has a well-earned reputation as being something of a policy wonk on state legislative issues.
Before being elected to the senate 15 years ago, Parker also served as Special Assistant to former State Comptroller H. Carl McCall, where he managed intergovernmental relations in New York City, and was the liaison between the Comptroller, and city, state, and federal elected officials.
“This is something I’ll be exploring for the next couple of months of the possibility of running for comptroller. I’ll be talking to constituents and people behind the scenes to figure out if there is a path that leads to that for me,” said Parker.
“I’ve served [thus far] in a way hopefully that has made my community proud and have achieved some things in the district, and I’m looking to elevate my leadership to the next level,” he added.
A lifelong Brooklyn resident, Parker has been a Flatbush resident for more than 31 years and is a product of public schools having attended P.S. 193, Andries Hudde I.S. 240, and Midwood High School.
He also has deep roots in the borough’s Caribbean political community having gotten his political start as a legislative aide to former City Councilmember Una Clarke, mother of U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D), and as special assistant to Assemblyman Nick Perry (D-East Flatbush). U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) administered the oath of office to Parker when he was first elected to the state senate in 2002.
Should Parker decide to run for the comptroller seat, he would not have to give up his senate seat as the citywide elections are not in the same year as the state elections.
Also reportedly eyeing the seat is term-limited City Council Member Brad Lander (D-Park Slope, Kensington, Windsor Terrace). Should Parker and Lander both run it could set up an interesting dynamic as Lander has strong support from the progressive community which has shown outsized strength with the recent elections of Senate-elect Julia Salazar in Bushwick and Zellnor Myrie in Flatbush.
Lander demurred a comment on his rumored comptroller run, saying he is putting all his energy into next week’s general election.
“Until Tuesday, I will be focusing on the existential elections we face, helping to take back the U.S. House of Representatives and the New York State Senate, so we can fight back against the dark forces threatening our country. I will be glad to talk about my own personal career on Wednesday,” said Lander.