S.C. Dem's Call On Their Candidate To Drop-Out

After domestic violence accusations revealed

South Carolina Radio Network
May 22, 2018 - 2:03 pm

A week ago, Democrats believed Sumter financial advisor Archie Parnell represented perhaps their best opportunity to switch one of South Carolina’s six seats in Congress currently held by Republicans.

Now, they are calling for him to drop out of the Fifth Congressional District race after a new report outlined serious domestic violence accusations against him 45 years ago.

The Charleston Post & Courier revealed Mondaythat divorce proceedings from Parnell’s first wife show she accused him of repeated physical abuse. Most notably, the report mentions a 1973 incident when she accused Parnell of using a tire iron to break through the door of a friend’s apartment where she was hiding, then beat her once inside. She later obtained a restraining order and a divorce the next year.

The newspaper reports Parnell’s aides confronted him when they learned about the incident last week. Many of them, including campaign manager Yates Baroody, resigned.

Parnell, who lost a 2017 special election U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman by just 2,700 votes, insisted he would not quit the race for something he did “while still a college student.”

“These actions were inexcusable, wrong and downright embarrassing,” Parnell said in a statement. “Since then, my life has been changed by a remarkable woman, two amazing daughters, a forgiving God and a career that has taught me to cherish what I have.”

But South Carolina Democratic officials said Parnell’s previous actions disqualify him.

“In light of this sad revelation, Archie Parnell has no choice but to withdraw from the race,” SCDP Chairman Trav Robertson said in a statement. “His actions, though long ago, directly contradict the values of the Democratic Party.”

Parnell’s campaign had more than $415,000 cash on hand during the most recent reporting period March 31. He had raised nearly $1.7 million for both of his congressional runs since January 2017.

The Sumter native had been a heavy favorite for next month’s Democratic primary. He had the backing of the party’s leadership against relatively unknown opponents Mark Ali, Steve Lough, and Sidney Moore.

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