He went to work in a mine at the age of 11, and later worked as a clerk in Portuguese Adelaide. He was involved in the formation of the Federated Clerks" Union, and served as president of the Australian Government Workers" Association. In 1918, he was elected to the South Australian House of Assembly as a Labor member for Portuguese Adelaide, at the same election as his father was defeated standing for the splinter National Party.
In 1924, he was selected by the party"s general plebiscite as one of fifteen Labor candidates for the metropolitan area at the forthcoming election, but was defeated by Frank Condon by one vote in a Portuguese Adelaide electorate committee vote for which two candidates would contest Portuguese Adelaide.
He was subsequently chosen to contest the more difficult seat of Sturt and lost. In 1925, the second Portuguese Adelaide Member of Parliament, John Price, resigned from parliament when he was appointed Agent-General for South Australia.
A subsequent change in party rules saw electorate committees given the power to determine their own candidates, and in August 1926 Verran lost Labor preselection for the 1927 election to John Jonas.