Pa. GOP Senate candidate’s wife testifies that he hit their children, tried to choke her

Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Sean Parnell’s estranged wife accused him in court on Monday of physical and verbal abuse.

During a child custody hearing, Laurie Parnell alleged that her husband hit their children and verbally accosted her, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. She said he once kicked her out of the car and left her by the road after an argument.

She also said that her husband once tried to choke her and that she had to bite him to get free. 

“He was strangling me,” she said, according to the Inquirer.

A spokesperson for Sean Parnell’s campaign did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment. But in a statement reported by the Inquirer, the Republican combat veteran and author denied his wife’s allegations. 

“Let me emphatically state: I have never raised a hand in anger towards my wife or any of our three children,” he said. “What happened today in court was not justice, nor did it have any basis in fact or truth. Next week, I’ll have an opportunity to present the truth to the court and I look forward to that opportunity.”

The court hearing is set to continue next week. 

Still, the testimony is the latest development in a saga that has plagued his Pennsylvania Senate campaign in recent weeks. In September, one of Sean Parnell’s GOP rivals, Jeff Bartos, revealed that Laurie Parnell had sought temporary protective order against her husband. 

Both of those protective orders were eventually expunged. 

Sean Parnell, who narrowly lost a race to represent Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District last year, jumped into the race to replace retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) in May. Former President Trump endorsed his campaign in early September, just before Bartos revealed the news of the protective orders.

The Senate race in Pennsylvania is among the most competitive of the 2022 midterm cycle. Democrats see it as a key opportunity to expand their razor-thin Senate majority, especially given Toomey’s retirement and President Biden’s narrow win in the state last year.

The allegations against Sean Parnell could prove damaging to his political ambitions. He has so far emerged as the early front-runner in the GOP primary, but some Republicans have privately expressed reservations about his candidacy. 

Tags 2022 midterms Donald Trump Joe Biden Pat Toomey Pennsylvania politics Pennsylvania Senate race Sean Parnell
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