Believing he has the experience to help move Parkland forward, City Commissioner Rich Walker announced his candidacy for mayor Thursday morning.
He will be competing with City Commissioner Stacy Kagan for the mayoral seat that opened up when Mayor Christine Hunschofsky announced she would run for House Seat 96.
Once Hunschofsky officially resigns, a qualifying date will be scheduled, and both Kagan and Walker would need to resign from their commission seats — however, they could still serve until the November election.
Elected in 2018 to the District 2 seat, Walker has served only for a short time but feels that this is a good opportunity, and the timing is right.
Originally from Washington Township, NJ, Walker met his wife Catherine when they were both students at Rutgers University. They would later move to Rockaway in 2001.
In 1996, Walker purchased the 100-year- old Bergen Sign Company with a partner, and in 2009, opened another office in Pompano Beach where he spent five years traveling back and forth to Florida.
His family loved Florida, and his wife suggested moving there permanently.
After looking for a few places, they settled in Parkland Isles, where they have lived for the past six years
Over the years, Walker has devoted his time to the Parkland Soccer Board, the Parkland Little League Board, and has coached for multiple teams. He has been an active volunteer for school-sponsored activities at all three Parkland elementary schools, Westglades Middle School and Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
Running for this position is not just about him and his family; it’s about the residents, and making sure Parkland continues to be a place that everyone loves, he said.
Walker and his wife have five children: Hayes 6, Drake 9, Scott 12, Steffy James, 14, and Delaney 16. They all attend Broward County Public Schools.
Walker wants his proven entrepreneurial record to be an asset to the community. Besides owning Bergen Sign Company, he is also an owner of American Beverage Technologies, a servicer for water filtration systems.
“My extensive experience in the business world gives me a big picture understanding of how to make decisions that will not only benefit families like mine but for all Parkland residents,” said Walker.
He says he has three priorities that he intends to address simultaneously; prioritize safety and security, upholding a high level of service and infrastructure, and building on the continuous partnership with the dedicated mental health organizations in our community.
As Parkland continues to grow, Walker wants to prioritize keeping the city a wonderful place to live for all residents.
“I want to ensure that Parkland continues to be embraced as a wonderful place where families from all around the country want to live and to be proud to call their home,” he said.