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Valley newcomer Parnell returns to legal roots with Palmer office

  • Author: Zaz Hollander
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published October 15, 2015

PALMER -- Former Alaska Governor Sean Parnell has opened a law office in downtown Palmer, the city he and his wife now call home.

Announcements mailed out this week by the Law Offices of Sean Parnell on South Bailey Street describe the practice as specializing in business law, contracts and real estate as well as municipal law and local government issues.

Parnell, who opened an Anchorage-based consulting business with his former rural affairs advisor in April, served in both houses of the Alaska Legislature and then as lieutenant governor to former Gov. Sarah Palin. He became governor in 2009 but lost a re-election bid to Gov. Bill Walker last year.

Parnell has also served as government relations director for oil company ConocoPhillips.

He said in an interview Thursday that he and his wife, Sandy, moved to Palmer because of the residents, quality of life and economic opportunities.

"We see a community that really works together toward that future," he said. "They have for a long time."

Parnell, raised in Anchorage, spent more than four decades there. Before entering elected office, he spent 18 years practicing business law after obtaining a law degree at Seattle University (formerly the Puget Sound School of Law). Parnell said he's licensed to practice law in Alaska and Washington, D.C.

Several clients include small- and mid-sized businesses, Parnell said. He declined to identify them.

His other Mat-Su pursuits include the development of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough's port, with or without an as-yet-unfinished railroad spur, and creation of multi-tier senior housing to serve the Valley's burgeoning senior population.

Parnell said his interest in serving the area's seniors stems from watching family members with different levels of medical needs try to stay together. The work comes as part of his consulting efforts, though it's a personal mission rather than work for any particular client, he said. He hopes to ramp up plans for a skilled nursing facility in the area of Mat-Su Regional Medical Center.

Parnell, like about a third of Valley residents, commutes to Anchorage at least part of the week. He's hoping to cut his time there to two days a week.

He has no plans to run for local office.

"I don't see that," Parnell said. "Right now I'm much more involved in leadership development of others who are coming up. I'd love to be able to provide the experience that I have to others who are just entering service."

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