News Update

Republican Sean Parnell suspends candidacy for Pennsylvania Senate seat

The decision comes after a judge awarded Laurie Snell, Parnell’s estranged wife, primary physical custody and sole legal custody of the couple’s three children, according to an order that was made public Monday.
“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,” Parnell said in a statement.
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Parnell spoke with Trump on Monday to inform him of his plans, according to Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich. The former President had backed Parnell, an Army veteran and former congressional candidate, in September in the competitive Republican primary. GOP Sen. Pat Toomey is not running for reelection, and Democrats see the seat as one of their top pickup opportunities heading into the 2022 midterms.
But allegations against Parnell from his estranged wife had raised concerns among some Republicans about his viability as a candidate. Snell had accused her husband of choking her and injuring their children — all claims that he had denied.
Parnell had canceled fundraising events and ramped down his appearances in conservative media. Multiple Republican operatives in and out of Pennsylvania had told CNN they didn’t see how Parnell’s campaign — which has leaned heavily on his children, including a large photo of him with them on his website’s homepage — could continue following the ruling.
“I strongly disagree with the ruling today and I’m devastated by the decision,” Parnell said in his Monday statement. “I plan on asking the court to reconsider this decision. In the order, two of the leading factors that weighed heavily in the judge’s decision revolved around me being a leading U.S. Senate candidate.”
“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,” he added.
This story has been updated with additional information.
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