Parker Briden, a Missouri native who came to Mississippi in 2019 to work on Tate Reeves’ successful gubernatorial campaign and stayed on as a senior staffer for several months after Reeves was sworn into office, has been tapped by Reeves to be his next chief of staff.
Briden, 27, will assume the pivotal position as Reeves’ gubernatorial staff appears to be in a state of flux. In recent months, there has been substantial upheaval in Reeves’ staff, including former chief of staff Brad White leaving to become the executive director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation. Since Reeves took office in January 2020, at least four senior staffers and at least five junior policy staffers have departed.
When White left in June, the governor announced that Liz Welch, the executive director of the Department of Finance and Administration and a longtime Reeves adviser, would take on the added responsibility of interim chief of staff.
Briden had previously served as deputy chief of staff for external affairs on Reeves’ gubernatorial staff before leaving to work as a political consultant to Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bernie Moreno in Ohio.
“Parker has been a trusted partner throughout my time as governor,” Reeves said in a press release. “He will be a highly effective leader and adviser as we work to serve the people of Mississippi.”
In the news release, Briden said, “I am honored and excited to work for the people of Mississippi and Gov. Tate Reeves again. My aspiration is to bring a fraction of the ability and integrity of my predecessors and colleagues to the job. The top responsibility is to be an honest broker for the governor and every partner throughout state government, the Legislature and private enterprise as we work together to serve this great state.”
Reeves credited Briden for being a key adviser on such issues as COVID-19 and other emergencies during his tenure.
Briden, a graduate of the University of Missouri, worked in multiple states on political campaigns and was the communications director for former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, who resigned in 2018 amid multiple scandals.
During the 2019 gubernatorial campaign, Briden was Reeves’ primary spokesperson.