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Senator Sean Parnell Session:
State Capitol, Room 518
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Phone: (907) 465-2995
Fax: (907) 465-6592
Send E-Mail

716 W 4th Avenue, Suite 530
Anchorage, AK 99501-2133
Phone: (907) 269-0250
Fax: (907) 269-0249

Senator Sean Parnell Leaving Legislature
Proud of Budget Work, Domestic Violence Laws

For Immediate Release: April 10, 2000
Contact: Senator Sean Parnell at (907) 465-2995.

Juneau -- Senator Sean Parnell (R-Anchorage), announced Monday that he would not seek re-election to his South Anchorage seat, citing concerns over the effect of the annual moves between Anchorage and the Capitol on his young family.

"While we were thirty-somethings, my wife and I thought it was OK moving back and forth to Juneau with youngsters," Parnell said. "We do not plan to spend our forties moving back and forth with adolescents ... It is now time for me to walk my talk, to let go of something I care deeply about, to best meet the needs of the family I love."

Parnell, 37, who serves as co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee, is in his eighth year as a state legislator. He was first elected to the House from District 17 in 1992 and served two terms before being elected to the Senate from District I in 1996. He and his wife, Sandy have two daughters: Grace, 8, and Rachel 5.

In making his announcement on the Senate floor, Parnell told fellow senators he had answered a call to public service when he first ran for office. He said he has fulfilled the work he was called to do, and that it is time to resume live as a private citizen.

"Why am I leaving? The answer is found in the paradox of power," Parnell said. "The tighter you and I cling to position or power ... the faster it slips through our fingers. I firmly believe there is more power in being able to let go. This really isn’t ‘my’ Senate seat or yours. It is a seat we hold in trust for the people we represent."

Parnell is best known for his work in the House and Senate Finance Committees. After being named "Most Effective Freshman Legislator" by the Alaska Journal of Commerce in 1994, Parnell rose to a leadership position and helped implement the Republican Majority’s five-year fiscal plan to reduce state government spending.

Among the many numerous pieces of legislation, Parnell sponsored and fought for passage of the Domestic Violence Prevention Act of 1996 to better protect victims of domestic violence. Parnell also championed "results-based budgeting" which holds state agencies accountable for spending through the use of clearly defined missions and measures of performance.

Parnell called on his Senate colleagues to continue making the public good their highest interest as they help Alaskans meet the challenges of the coming years. "May you continue to exercise the trust the people have placed in you with integrity and graciousness, and may you continue to find meaning in faith, commitment, and service," he said. Parnell expressed gratitude to the people of South Anchorage for the privilege of serving them. He reserved special comments for his wife, with whom he shared many miles on the campaign trail, and said he was looking forward to the freedom to devote more time with his family. Parnell plans to return to his private commercial law practice in Anchorage.

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