[Photo: Chris Parker (Submitted photo)]
By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Raeford mayoral candidate Chris Parker has launched his campaign for the office, and is planning upcoming events to give voters a chance to speak with him.
Parker is the founding and senior pastor of Abundant Life Ministries in Raeford, where he has been a part of the community for 16 years. He served in the United States Army for 18 years and is a medically retired veteran. Parker and his wife of 27 years, Na-Jean Parker, have six children.
Parker said he’s been considering running for mayor for some time now. He moved into the city in part because he wanted to show his dedication to Raeford.
“I’m invested in this community. I’ve grown to love Raeford,” he said. “I’ve served in this city for 16 years as the senior pastor of Abundant Life Ministries. Part of the reason that I decided to move here was that so I could show my level of commitment and investment in this city, so that I could run for the office of mayor. I’ve waited, I’ve served, I’ve gotten to know the community, gotten to love the community, and the community has shown its love to me. I just think the time is right now for me to run.”
If elected, Parker said he wants to put the focus on listening to people. He hopes to create a mayor’s advisory committee of Raeford citizens who discuss their concerns.
“As the mayor, I’ll know what I need to do to fix what’s going on in the communities, or how I can assist to fix what’s going on in our communities,” he said. “I think the people of Raeford are great people, this is a great city.”
Bringing more shopping and entertainment options to the area would be a goal of his time in office, if elected.
“I would like to afford an opportunity for there to be more shopping venues, family entertainment for families here in Raeford. Families need to be provided the opportunity, instead of traveling to Fayetteville or Pinehurst or surrounding counties and cities, that we’ll be able to have services that the citizens of Raeford need and want and desire here in Raeford,” Parker said.
If elected, he also hopes to work closely with the local Veterans Services Office to support military service members.
“Being a retired veteran, I look forward to partnering with the veterans services office here so we can provide second to none services to veterans and their families and active-duty military,” he said.
The candidate said he sees the potential for a bright future ahead for the city.
“I’m really excited about the future of Raeford, North Carolina, the possibilities of where Raeford can be. I see such great potential that’s coming towards Raeford,” Parker said.
Parker has a campaign website available at chrisparker4mayor.com, and he can be reached on all social media, or by email at [email protected]
The candidate is planning an upcoming slate of events, including a coffee meeting open to the public at McDonalds restaurant in Raeford so voters can come out and speak with him in person.
He will strive to put people before politics, Parker said. “People before politics, people before politics. I want to express to people that the people will govern and dictate my decision-making and my policy-making as mayor, what’s best for the interests of the people of Raeford, North Carolina.”