Familiar Brookhaven Democrat Back in Politics

January 7, 2014 6:00 am

by Tim Darnell · 17 comments

Elena Parent is running for state Sen. Jason Carter’s District 42 seat.

Parent made the announcement on Monday.

Parent defeated Republican incumbent Jill Chambers in 2012 for the House District 81 seat. In 2012, Parent’s Brookhaven district was redrawn into a district represented by Scott Holcomb. Parent resigned her seat and then went to work as executive director of Georgia Watch.

Analysis: Like Holcomb, Parent is one of the Democratic Party’s brightest young stars. Republicans may have had that knowledge in mind when they combined Holcomb’s old district into Parent’s district when census-driven reapportionment came around.

It isn’t surprising to see Parent back in the political picture, and she has solid credentials in the private and public sector to back her candidacy (an attorney who worked for the powerhouse law firm Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP; and a former chief of staff to then Sen. David Adelman, now the U.S. ambassador to Singapore).

Regardless of whether Carter is successful in his gubernatorial bid, the winner of his Senate seat is going to receive a lot of name recognition in the media.

Democrats would be smart not to field another candidate for this seat, as Parent, like Holcomb, is a future leader of the party.

dekalbmom1 January 7, 2014 at 10:20 am

Wow, Tim it looks like you are a new poster. This isn’t the kind of writing Im used to seeing on the Pundit, but fits the archaic thinking that’s coming from many Democrats. I absolutely disagree that Elena should be the “Anointed One.” There is a solid Democrat who has unquestioned Democratic credentials in the race. One who has worked to lift up the Party. One who has helped dozens of Democrats get elected and it isn’t Elena Parent, it is Kyle Williams.

Why should Democrats get behind the ONLY Democratic legislator to attend an ALEC conference? That’s right, Elena was the ONLY Dem to go to the ALEC conference. You want us to fall in line behind that? No thanks–I’m sticking with the real Democrat in this race-Kyle.

Stefan January 7, 2014 at 10:56 am

Well, seeing as ALEC provides legislative support and model legislation, and many of the bills introduced in Georgia and nationwide have their genesis in ALEC, I wish way more Democrats would go to those conferences. Waiting until a problem bill is already introduced to begin fighting it is often a losing strategy.

dekalbmom1 January 7, 2014 at 11:40 am

Yes, they are the genesis of legislation, but that does not make them a good idea. I know Conservative groups like ALEC generated legislation such as Stand Your Ground, limiting a woman’s right to choose and the nasty anti-immigration laws that are crippling many states, but that’s not what I want in a Democratic representative in the Legislature.

Btw Stefan, she was the ONLY Democrat to go. http://www.ajc.com/news/business/coke-cuts-ties-with-alec/nQSn5/

Charlie January 7, 2014 at 11:42 am

Could anyone here tell me who the ONLY Democrat to attend ALEC was?

Ed January 7, 2014 at 12:13 pm

Paul Broun (D-Still Uncertain if I’ve been Sworn Inville)

Stefan January 7, 2014 at 12:16 pm

I hear you, and what I am saying is, I wish they’d all go!

Toxic Avenger January 7, 2014 at 4:28 pm

I’ll comment again, here, to ask you whether you even did your research to see how she actually VOTED on such issues?

Seriously, like I said below, stop it. It’s unbecoming of a Democrat.

Toxic Avenger January 7, 2014 at 4:22 pm


I know both Elena and Kyle well having been a leader in the party for some time. I have not made my decision in this race, but I must be honest with you. If this race is going to take this tone from Kyle’s side, Elena will have my unflinching support. Both Kyle and Elena are amazing Democrats, fantastic leaders, and would make damn good Senators. So if you and your fellow Kyle Williams supporters want to play this game, please enjoy hemorrhaging support. People don’t want to stand for this- especially when both individuals are truly fantastic.

And in case you want to continue challenging her Democratic bona fides, look at her endorsement list. It’s impressive, and certainly a “fake” Democrat would not gain such support.

So cut it out.

Mrs. Adam Kornstein January 8, 2014 at 11:32 am

I laugh in the general direction of the premise that one of these candidates is not a “real” Democrat.


However equally as absurd if not completely idiotic is would be someone would infer a candidates campaign “tone” because someone somewhere said something stupid in a comment thread.

griftdrift January 7, 2014 at 11:04 am

When people start using “real” and “true” as modifiers, I start looking for the kindling and stakes.

Toxic Avenger January 7, 2014 at 4:29 pm

The only time it’s relevant is when the individual has openly declared an allegiance to another party or has never voted in the primary election for said party. Otherwise it’s nothing more than an idealistic litmus test.

KFowler January 7, 2014 at 11:19 am

Williams and Parent are both excellent candidates. It’s a crying shame that there are not more opportunities for smart, willing and capable people. Oh wait, there ARE more opportunities. Either one of these fine people could step up to run for Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner, or Labor Commissioner.

And FYI, Tim D, Kyle Williams announced his candidacy several weeks ago.

Napoleon January 7, 2014 at 5:34 pm

Correction. The Chambers/Parent campaign was 2010, not 2012. Parent left office in 2012 because of redistricting.

Dave Bearse January 7, 2014 at 9:54 pm

I’m no general authority, but I’m knowledgeable as a 15 year District 81 resident. The post was a just a tad off.

There’s no fault in referring to Parent as a Brookhaven Democrat because she lived there when serving as District 81 Rep. There are a few Brookhaven precincts within Senate District 42, but she’s moved out of Brookhaven.

The post implied Parent began working for Georgia Watch before her term expired by incorrectly stating Parent resigned, when she served her full term.

On the plus side you didn’t parrot Hassinger’s claim Parent was “forced out” in the 2012 election. Hassinger is at least a couple of orders magnitude more connected than me, but there’s nothing out there I’m aware of, or that he’s put forth, to substantiate the conjecture.

atlanta unfiltered January 7, 2014 at 11:11 pm

I’m not sure that Elena Parent was the only Georgia Dem to attend an ALEC conference. My records show that Rep. Billy Mitchell went to one in 2011, or at least he received a “scholarship” to cover some of his expenses. As did former Sen. Peg Blitch in 2004, and Rep. Bob Bryant in 2005.

Charlie January 8, 2014 at 11:35 am

I know you’re a professional investigative reporter and editor that is obsessed with “facts” Jim, but I read on the internet twice – TWICE – that Elena was the ONLY Dem to attend ALEC. Therefore, it must be true.

Stefan January 8, 2014 at 12:35 pm

And Nan Orrock was a member of ALEC until 2012, and I don’t think you’d get far criticizing her progressive credentials. It’s not a strong argument.

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