Trump-Endorsed Parnell Ends Senate Campaign in Pennsylvania

Trump-Endorsed Parnell Ends Senate Campaign in Pennsylvania sean parnell points and speaks during a trump campaign rally Sean Parnell (Keith Srakocic/AP)

By Eric Mack | Monday, 22 November 2021 07:11 PM

Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Sean Parnell, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, has decided to end his 2022 campaign, The Washington Post reported.

The ceasing of his campaign comes just hours after the details of a judge's custody ruling was made public Monday, granting primary custody of his three children to his estranged wife who has accused him of domestic abuse.

Parnell, "devastated by the decision," said in a statement he will appeal the ruling, which was delivered last week by the judge who mentioned the GOP candidate "expects to win the election" and "reside parts of the year in Washington, D.C.," according to the Post.

"I strongly disagree with the ruling today," Parnell's statement read. "There is nothing more important to me than my children, and while I plan to ask the court to reconsider, I can't continue with a Senate campaign.

"My focus right now is 100% on my children, and I want them to know I do not have any other priorities and will never stop fighting for them."

Senior Judge James Arner deemed Laurie Snell "the more credible witness" for sole legal and primary physical custody and wrote "Parnell did commit some acts of abuse in the past," the Post reported.

Parnell, who separated from Snell in 2018, has denied the allegations of abuse as "complete fabrications," the Post reported.

Parnell, an Army Ranger veteran, launched his Senate campaign in May to fill the seat of retiring Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa. He narrowly lost a House campaign in a Pittsburgh-area district in 2020.

"Sean Parnell is running for the United States Senate to serve the Great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; Sean bravely fought for our country as a captain in the U.S. Army and was awarded two Bronze Stars (one for valor!) and the Purple Heart," Trump wrote in his endorsement. "Unlike our current administration, he never left anyone behind. Sean is a great candidate, who got robbed in his congressional run in the Crime of the Century — the 2020 Presidential Election Scam.

He will make Pennsylvania very proud and will fight for election integrity, strong borders, our Second Amendment, energy jobs, and so much more. Sean Parnell will always put America First. He has my complete and total endorsement!"

With Parnell out, the Pennsylvania Senate GOP primary race is "in chaos," top Democrats in the state told the Post.

"This development highlights the weakness of leading GOP Senate candidates in key battlegrounds," Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman David Bergstein told the Post. "And the vicious infighting amongst Republicans in Pennsylvania is sure to intensify, just like it has in Senate races across the country."

Among the GOP primary candidates remaining are former U.S. ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands and businessman Jeff Bartos. Mehmet Oz, also known as "Dr. Oz" on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," has also been exploring a campaign, along with David McCormick, a former Treasury Department official whose wife is former Trump Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell, sources told the Post.