John-Michael Parker became the endorsed Democratic candidate for State Representative in Connecticut’s 101st District during a convention held via Zoom on May 18.
Support for Parker’s candidacy was already evident when he announced his intentions to a packed room in February. That support continued to build when Parker was able to raise over $5,000 from more than 175 constituents in less than a week, meeting the requirements to qualify for public campaign financing.
Now Parker will have a second opportunity to unseat incumbent Noreen Kokoruda, who managed to retain her office by 18 votes in 2018. The 101st District is comprised of Madison and Durham.
More than 40 people joined virtually for the convention proceedings. In his invitation to friends and delegates, Parker acknowledged the public health crisis that forced the convention into a digital format.
“Our community has suffered in ways big and small during this crisis, and it is not lost on me that the profound duty of public service has taken on an even deeper meaning in these trying times,” he said. “I'm grateful for the opportunity to run as the Democratic candidate in this important race, during this important year.”
Parker described how campaigning in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic will be different from the door-knocking campaign that he ran in 2018.
“It is yet to be seen if we will be able to go door-to-door, shake hands and meet people where they are,” he said. “We’ll have to rely on old tools like mail, social and digital media, and phone calls. We’ll have to get creative and come up with new ideas for how to reach people and be sure that they are listened to now, so that in 2021 they can be truly and fully represented.”
Durham resident Martin Anderson seconded Parker’s nomination.
“We are in dark and uncertain times, and we need—the state needs—someone like John-Michael right now who is full of energy and ambition, kindness, intelligence, love and respect of others … to lead us and be attuned to our local needs,” said Anderson.
Parker is employed as the Executive Director of Arts for Learning Connecticut, the state’s premiere provider of arts in education serving over 175,000 students in 100 towns across the state.