His divorce records exposed the dark details of his past: Democratic congressional candidate Archie Parnell had abused his ex-wife in 1973.— Caitlin Byrd (@MaryCaitlinByrd) June 10, 2018
A voter now had to decide: Could she, a victim of domestic violence herself, ever support an abuser? https://t.co/yQpAg15eOc #sc05 #scpol pic.twitter.com/SUljuJuRaV
South Carolina Democrat candidate, Archie Parnell lost most of the party’s support after reports of his domestic abuse resurfaced – but he still won the 5th Congressional District nomination. With 60 percent of the vote, Parnell easily beat three lesser known primary candidates.
Parnell had previously confessed of domestically abusing his ex-wife, Kathleen Parnell, 45 years ago when he was in his 20s. According to divorce records in October 1973, Parnell smashed a glass door with a tire iron and entered Kathleen’s apartment. He then hit the woman repeatedly.
Kathleen said she had to obtain a restraining order against him.
Parnell’s campaign manager, Yates Baroody, resigned after The Post and Courier reported Parnell attacked his ex-wife in the 1970s – thinning his chances of defeating incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman.
Norman had defeated Parnell in the special elections last year.
Soon after these reports resurfaced, the Democrat party officials called him out to drop from the race. "What Archie Parnell did is inexcusable and deeply disturbing, and he should drop out of this race immediately," Meredith Kelly, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s (DCCC) communications director, said in a statement.
Guy Cecil, the head of the super PAC Priorities USA, also mentioned on Twitter he won’t support Parnell.
However, Parnell, a former tax attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice made it clear that he will not quit despite all the heat from national Democrats. The SC primary is now happily married. He has been living with second wife, Sarah Parnell since 40 years and has two daughters with her.
In a statement posted on Facebook, Parnell apologized to his supporters, explaining he won’t quit the race because. “You don’t have to be defined by your worst mistake. You don’t have to be cast aside. You are not alone. You can be better. And, together, we can be better” he said in the video.
Parnell’s win has complicated matters for Democrats who have been backing women as candidates and openly voice support for women’s right, while the voters have selected a domestic abuser, who brutally physically assaulted his wife, to represent them in the general elections.
People on Twitter had a mixed reaction regarding Parnell’s election result.
I'm so angry!. I supported him until I found out about this. Does he grasp the position he's put us in? Does he understand the ammo he's handed opponents? How they'll use this to justify their own future unsavory candidates? This is SELFISH in the extreme! #SC05 #ArchieParnell https://t.co/3elBynNVDl— diana (@realpestilence) June 13, 2018
I believe you're discussing this dude in South Carolina, Archie Parnell. 1. I don't cover SC politics. 2. The Dems left this guy. His entire staff resigned. Unlike w/Roy Moore, who had the backing of the damn prez. 3. It's disgusting he won. 4. I don't cover SC politics. https://t.co/zLsCR7WrJE— Josh Moon (@Josh_Moon) June 13, 2018
What I'm reading about #ArchieParnell is its ok for him to run bc he was in college and grew up. Guess that's another version of 'boys will be boys'. No thanks, plenty of people available to run for office that haven't used a tire iron to break a door or abused their partners.— Amber K Tortolini (@jlyfsh) May 22, 2018
I don't want to ever hear anybody say the Democratic Party is the party for women and women's rights. #ArchieParnell— Manny Hands (@ClintHurdle_sux) June 13, 2018
When women think it is okay to beat a woman (but not to rape them) just to win an election it makes us no better than the GOP who stands up for rapists and child molesters (but I suppose some are good people) we have lost any modicum of the high road. #archieparnell— Julie Mason (@reinventjulie) May 23, 2018
Good day to everyone who voted in the Dem primaries yesterday except those who voted for Archie Parnell— Melissa Markowich (@melissaamarko) June 13, 2018
The thing about Archie Parnell is that even if he's totally reformed, the most considerate thing to do with regards to people who have experienced domestic violence would be to drop out.— Eli (@elium2) June 13, 2018
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