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**Virginia Scope decided to not directly name an individual who was attacked by Parker in an email last night. That individual will go by “unnamed staffer.”**

by Brandon Jarvis

Former Democratic congressional candidate Andy Parker is blaming others for his campaign’s failure to reach the signature threshold to make it on the primary ballot in VA-05 this year. In a long, scathing, and insulting email, Parker put the blame for his campaign’s collapse on two individuals. 

In the letter, Parker begins by thanking his supporters and says as the candidate he must take responsibility before immediately blaming a friend who would provide him with unpaid advice for his campaign, Andrew Whitley. “I must tell you, my failure was due solely on the decision to hire [unnamed staffer] and Andrew Whitley.”   

Whitley was Chris Hurst’s campaign manager in 2017 when he first met Parker. Hurst was in a relationship with Parker’s daughter before she was killed on live tv in 2015.  

Whitley is now the executive director for the Democratic Party of Virginia. 

In the email, Parker said he was expecting Whitley to join him as campaign manager on April 1, but Whitley says that was not the plan. Whitley told Virginia Scope he and Parker had a conversation in early 2022 and he left the door open for anything, but that is it. At that time it was unclear if he would still have a job at DPVA because he was unsure if his boss, Susan Swecker, was going to run for party chair again. Swecker eventually won the race to serve another term as DPVA chair.

“That day rolled around, and Andrew did not come on board. He was working furiously to re-elect Susan Swecker as party chair,” Parker wrote in the Monday night email. The elections for DPVA chair took place on March 19, however, nearly two weeks before April 1. 

Whitley says he was never paid by Parker and would answer his questions when he called as a friend, and nothing more. He had no intention of becoming campaign manager for Parker on April 1, he says. 

Parker then wrote in the email that he did not mind Whitley staying at DPVA beyond April 1 as long as he was monitoring the unnamed staffer who was collecting signatures. Parker said the unnamed staffer who was hired was recommended by Whitley. That staffer was brought on in mid-March. The last day that candidates could turn in signatures was April 7. 

Parker does not provide any more reasoning in his email as to why he expected the executive director of DPVA to monitor his own campaign staff.

Whitley stressed that he took no actions in his official role as executive director to help Parker – DPVA has to remain neutral in party nomination contests. Josh Throneburg eventually became the nominee in VA-05 after Parker’s failure to make the ballot.

Parker blasted the email Monday night to Democrats across the commonwealth.

“I plan to make this all known to the VADems board as well as the DCCC,” Parker wrote. “If there is any justice in this world, {unnamed staffer] and Andrew Whitley will never work in politics again – and if they do, it should be for the other side.” 

Parker wrote in the email that this was devastating for him, but points out that it is not as bad as when his daughter was killed 6.5 years ago. “I’ll be ok, and I’m giving those who contributed, a choice to either get a prorated refund, or leave it in a PAC im going to start to help candidates like Spanberger, Wexton, and Luria as well as those who can retake the General Assembly next year.” 

Virginia Scope is an independent news publication that is funded largely by donations and subscribers. As local newsrooms are losing writers each day, we are trying to fill the void to ensure that the public is informed and that leaders are held accountable for their actions. Please consider becoming a paid subscriber to our newsletter or making a donation through Paypal below so we can continue to work in Virginia. 

By vascope

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