The Red Ledger

Senior serves community through campaigning

Clay Parker balances stresses of final year with unique responsibility

Senior+Clay+Parker+manages+a+campaign+for+Judge+John+Payton.+His+teachers+and+parents+support+him+in+his+commitments.
Senior Clay Parker manages a campaign for Judge John Payton. His teachers and parents support him in his commitments.

Senior Clay Parker manages a campaign for Judge John Payton. His teachers and parents support him in his commitments.

Shae Daugherty

Shae Daugherty

Senior Clay Parker manages a campaign for Judge John Payton. His teachers and parents support him in his commitments.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Senior year can be filled with stress. Many soon-to-be-graduated students have to worry about AP classes, friends, and college applications, and while senior Clay Parker deals with all of these, he has his own unique responsibility to worry about: managing a campaign for a seat on the state legislature.

Clay is a campaign manager for Judge John Payton, who is running for representative of District 89 in the Texas House of Representatives.

“I think it’s awesome,” Payton said. “Clay brings new ideas, fresh perspective, motivation, hard work, and a great representation of our house district.”

John Payton is a Justice of the Peace in Precinct 3-2, and he ran for Justice of the Peace for Collin County as an 18-year-old high school senior in 1990. His opponent, Jim Murrell, was running again for the office and had been there for years. Payton won, becoming the youngest Justice of the Peace ever to be elected in history. Payton, now 46, was happy to offer Clay the opportunity to assist him in his campaign.

“Clay reminds me a lot of me,” Judge Payton said. “He’s very organized, very diligent, confident, highly motivated, and doesn’t allow a task to overwhelm him. When Clay doesn’t feel like he has the answer, he reaches out and he asks–all qualities you want in a leader. All I’m doing is giving him a chance to take those leadership skills and put them into the real world, and he’s done an amazing job.”

Next to his obligations in orchestra and speech, Clay still finds time to accompany Payton to all of his events, organize and send emails, and attend weekly meetings.

“[Clay] took the offer very seriously and didn’t want to over commit himself,” Kelly Parker, Clay’s father, said. “Clay’s already qualified for multiple things. I was very excited for him but shared the same hesitation. We wanted to make sure he could map that out on the calendar and commit to it because he wanted to do it 110 percent. It opens up a lot of doors for him and what he wants to do.”

Both Payton and Clay attended Boys State, a week-long institution where boys organize and run their own government. The brightest students from all of the school districts in the state are nominated by teachers to participate between their junior and senior years.

“I decided to apply and attend because of my interest in politics,” Parker said. “I loved my city so much. My counselors were great. It was really just a great time to just learn and utilize the skills I’ve gotten in other places, like public speaking and debate.”

Clay said his instructors and mentors have done an excellent job in allowing him to take tests and quizzes on other days so he may fulfill his responsibilities.

“A lot of the teachers here are completely understanding and willing to help me in what I’m passionate about,” Clay said. “My parents too, have been super helpful. They’re able to cover for me sometimes, and they, too, are interested in helping him out and supporting the campaign.”

The primary election for District 89 representative will take place this March, and the general election will be held this November. Clay said he hopes this experience will help him achieve future goals.

“It’s super helpful from a networking standpoint because if [Payton] gets elected, he’ll get to go work in Austin, and I attend someplace at UT Austin, that’s an immediate in I have at the capitol, which would be super useful in the future,” Clay said. “Not to mention the experiences I am getting here.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

The Red Ledger values the opinion of its readers and encourages them to discuss its content. All comments are subject to approval by The Red Ledger staff. The Red Ledger does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments. Comments are reviewed as often as possible. Comments with inappropriate content will not be published. Once submitted, comments become the property of The Red Ledger. To see our full Comment Policy, visit https://www.theredledger.net/about-us/policies/

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Senior serves community through campaigning

    Community

    Golden achievement

  • Senior serves community through campaigning

    Community

    Teaching teachers

  • Senior serves community through campaigning

    Community

    Biking over cancer

  • Senior serves community through campaigning

    Community

    Braving the shave

  • Senior serves community through campaigning

    Community

    Don’t judge ‘Coop’ by his cover

  • Senior serves community through campaigning

    Community

    Healing Scarred Hearts

  • Senior serves community through campaigning

    Community

    Sign up to save

  • Senior serves community through campaigning

    Community

    Spotting hope

  • Senior serves community through campaigning

    Community

    Leopard Look: Katie Strand

  • Senior serves community through campaigning

    Academics

    Last words

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School..
Senior serves community through campaigning