On Archie Parnell

June 19, 2018

Even with frightening revelations of domestic violence during a previous marriage, Democrat voters have once again selected Archie Parnell as their candidate to face me in November’s general election.

This story has made national headlines for weeks. Calls for him to step aside came first from his own campaign staff, who immediately resigned. They also came from the state and national Democrat Party, which withdrew all support. And virtually every endorsement of Mr. Parnell’s has been rescinded.

This is about character and judgment, both past and present.

First, obviously, there are no circumstances under which domestic violence is appropriate. No one should ever experience what Mr. Parnell’s ex-wife went through, and our collective hearts go out to her.

Second, the pursuit of elected office without being upfront about something of this magnitude is simply unacceptable.  We are all human.  However, for a candidate with domestic violence in his past, the time to humble himself and assert that he’s a better person today is before his campaign even gets off the ground.  It is not after having mislead his own staff about the past, and certainly not after those revelations became national headlines.

Here’s what we can expect going forward:

The unfortunate reality is that Mr. Parnell now represents a distraction to the issues facing our district. He knows that every aspect of his campaign will be filtered through the prism of his domestic violence. He understands that every public appearance, town hall, interview and debate will be shrouded with both loud questions and quiet whispers about his judgment & transparency.  He’s aware that much of the media coverage of South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District election will no longer be on what matters most, but instead on the performance of a candidate who was not forthcoming about his past.  And with their calls for for him to step aside, the Democrat Party has rightfully made it clear how isolated and ineffective he would be in Washington, if elected.

Despite all this, Mr. Parnell has chosen to remain in this race, and in fact many Democrat voters appear to be comfortable with him as their candidate given that he easily defeated three other primary opponents to win that party’s nomination. It’s for that reason that we must prepare for a challenging election ahead.

I’m asking for your support. I cannot win this election without your help. There are many ways for you to get involved, and you can find them all using the link below.

Every two years we vote for those who will represent our values in the U.S. House of Representatives. For the people of our district, however, this election now has added meaning.

Let us send a clear and resounding message that domestic abuse cannot be tolerated in our society, and those who try to hide this type of violence in their past have no business representing us in Washington.  Please join me.