District five race moves forward with controversial Parnell win - | WBTV Charlotte

District five race moves forward with controversial Parnell win

SOUTH CAROLINA (WBTV) Voter results Tuesday will have Democrat Archie Parnell go up against sitting Republican Representative Ralph Norman for South Carolina’s district five congressional seat.

Parnell and Norman have both have made national waves the last few months, in different ways. 

“After much prayer and thought, I’ve concluded I should stay in this race,” Parnell said in a Facebook video last week. 

In the video, Parnell admits to hitting his wife in the 1970’s. 

“If I withdraw, I would not be fully facing my past. If I withdraw, I would be telling anyone who makes a terrible mistake, that that one terrible mistake will define them for the rest of their lives,” he said in part of the video.

Despite the campaign controversy, Parnell garnered a significant lead over other democratic candidates in Tuesday’s polls. 

“This was potentially a seat that democrats were eyeing for a flip in November,” political expert Michael Bitzer said Tuesday.

Parnell released a statement about the results Tuesday night.

I am deeply honored and humbled by tonight’s vote, but I know this victory is not mine alone.  This is about the people of the 5th District.

Tonight, the people sent a clear message to everyone. You don’t have to be defined by your worst mistake. You don't have to be cast aside.  You are not alone.  You can be better.  And, together, we can be better.   We can and must enact better laws to strengthen our economy, make taxes more fair, make schools safe, invest in education and protect the planet.

Now it’s time to take that message and this movement to November and win there.

Bitzer said though Parnell clenched the Democratic nomination, he likely will not get the support he needs from his party to win against Norman. 

“I would think even if he is the candidate, they will look to other races and say, we are just not going to get behind this kind of a candidacy,” Bitzer said. 

Norman has gathered some controversy of his own, laying his loaded gun on a table during an event in April. 

“In my mind, more of our citizens ought to be armed, get the proper training. I think to have gun free zones, which 68 percent of the mass shootings occur, doesn’t make sense,” Norman said in a phone call with WBTV Tuesday.

Norman said Tuesday a Parnell win will not change his campaign strategy moving forward.

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