Dem wins South Carolina congressional primary despite abuse revelation

Dem wins South Carolina congressional primary despite abuse revelation
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Democrat Archie Parnell, who rebuffed calls to drop out of his congressional race after admitting to abusing his wife decades ago, is projected to win the Democratic primary Tuesday to take on Rep. Ralph NormanRalph Warren NormanSouth Carolina New Members 2019 House conservatives want ethics probe into Dems' handling of Kavanaugh allegations Milwaukee County GOP mocks Kavanaugh accusation, says Ginsburg claimed Lincoln 'grabbed my ass' MORE (R-S.C.) in November.

Parnell, who came close to defeating Norman in a special election last year, jumped into this year’s race as the front-runner. Even after the report about his past spousal abuse, he still went into Tuesday as the favorite since he faced little-known challengers and has strong name recognition from his past congressional campaign.

The Associated Press called the race for him at 9:31 p.m.


Democrats in South Carolina and Washington immediately called on him to drop out of the race following last month’s report of the past abuse. Court documents filed by Parnell’s ex-wife in 1973 detailed the claims and she later obtained a restraining order. Parnell apologized for his “inexcusable” actions, but refused to exit the race.

Parnell was seen as a top Democrat after he came unexpectedly close to winning the South Carolina congressional seat last year in the special election to replace former Rep. Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyOvernight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Trump, Dems open drug price talks | FDA warns against infusing young people's blood | Facebook under scrutiny over health data | Harris says Medicare for all isn't socialism White House spokeswoman leaving to join PR firm Trump’s state of emergency declaration imperils defense budget MORE (R), whom President TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Smollett lawyers declare 'Empire' star innocent Pelosi asks members to support resolution against emergency declaration MORE tapped to serve as the White House budget chief.

House Democrats had heavily spent on other special elections where they believed they had a better shot at flipping a seat. But even with little outside help, Parnell only lost to Norman by 3 points in 2017.

Parnell goes into the general election as a serious underdog. The race was already going to be a tough feat for Democrats since Trump carried the district by 18 points in 2016. But the past abuse revelations surrounding Parnell have likely completely erased the seat from the map for Democrats.

The nonpartisan election handicapper Cook Political Report moved the race from "likely Republican" to "solid Republican" following the abuse revelations.

If Parnell decides to leave the race in the coming months, Democrats won’t be able to remove his name from the November ballot.