After 19 years as mayor of Amber, Craig Parham announces his run for Oklahoma State House of Representatives in District 56 (Grady, Caddo, & Kiowa counties).
“Mayors are a different breed. Instead of listening to lobbyists, we earn the trust of our neighbors. As your representative, I will put people first, hold government accountable, and do what’s right.”
Parham is concerned that southwest Oklahoma is falling behind while state government focuses on picking winners and losers.
“Rural Oklahoma is being left behind while the metro thrives. We are losing our hospitals, schools, family farms, and industry while our government gives tax credits to out-of-state corporations. We can’t turn this state around with the same philosophy that created the mess.”
A 1982 graduate of Chickasha High School, Craig has owned and operated Parham Tile USA, Inc. for 27 years, which lays tile in 36 states across the country. He attended USAO, then began working for his father in 1984. Growing up, he worked for the family farm, P&K Body Shop, and Bauman Buick.
“I’m a businessman, not a politician. When my dad retired from his own tile business, he didn’t hand me the keys. He made me start my own business and earn it myself. That’s a lesson I’ll never forget and I wish he was still around to see how it’s grown.”
Craig currently serves as Vice President of the Mayors Council of Oklahoma. During his tenure as its volunteer mayor, the town of Amber has grown its general fund from $50,000 to $2,000,000. Town improvements include a new community center, new town offices, an expanded and better equipped fire department, new cemetery, new water tower and sewage, and a new high school bonded by the citizens.
“None of this happened overnight. It took an entire community coming together, listening to each other, and doing what’s right for the town as a whole. We need this same model of partnership at the State Capitol.”
Parham believes the State of Oklahoma must invest in local schools and health care while also shining a light on government practices.
“Doing what’s right isn’t a difficult concept. I’ll demand transparency in spending and hold government accountable to the people. I’ll work to increase classroom funding so our kids are prepared to compete in the real world and bring our tax dollars back from Washington so they can be put to use locally.”
Craig’s wife, Jeanette, helps operate the business and takes care of 6 grandchildren after school until their parents are off work. She is president of Amber-Pocasset PTO and co-founded the Back-To-School Bash, which provides backpacks and school supplies to students. She also volunteers with the Amber Senior Citizens Center and the Thanksgiving and Christmas basket programs.
“For me,” added Craig, “nothing is more important than my family, my faith, and my community. Those three principles guide my business and my public service. I will be a representative who listens to you and does what’s right. I humbly ask for your vote.”
Increase classroom funding so our kids are prepared to compete in the real world. "I’ll work to increase classroom funding so our kids are prepared to compete in the real world."
It's time to bring our tax dollars back from Washington and put them to use locally. ""I'll bring our tax dollars back from Washington so they can be put to use locally.”
Doing what's right isn't a difficult concept. I'll demand transparency and accountability to the people. “Doing what’s right isn’t a difficult concept. I’ll demand transparency in spending and hold government accountable to the people."