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#SC5: Archie Parnell Will Run Again For Congress

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Sumter, South Carolina tax attorney Archie Parnell is running for the U.S. Congress … again.

Parnell outperformed expectations during a special election for the Palmetto State’s fifth congressional district (map) back in June.  In that race, he came within three points of beating “Republican” Ralph Norman in a seat former GOP congressman Mick Mulvaney carried by twenty points last fall.

Impressive, right?  Indeed …

Parnell probably could have upset Norman were it not for his initial flirtation with a GOP candidacy of his own.  Or his Goldman Sachs background.

It’s hard to get progressives excited about that sort of Democratic candidate …

Anyway, Parnell will run for the fifth district seat again … announcing this week his intention to file in March for the Democratic primary election scheduled for next June.  The winner of that race will face the GOP nominee (and any third party entries) next November.

“We continue to see a complete lack of accomplishment from Washington as career politicians talk past each other without ever coming together to solve the huge challenges facing our country,” Parnell wrote in an email to supporters.

Can Parnell (or any Democrat) win this seat in a regularly scheduled general election?

It’s doubtful …

The “Republican” straight ticket advantage is strong in South Carolina.  In fact at this point it is virtually insurmountable.  For Parnell to prevail, it would have to be a perfect storm.

We’re not saying it’s impossible … it’s just exceedingly unlikely.

Frankly, we see Parnell facing a far more credible challenge from within his own party this go-round.  Many Democrats are miffed that they failed to nominate a true progressive during the special election – and don’t want to make the same mistake twice.

As for Norman, it’s not yet clear whether he will face GOP opposition in next spring’s primary cycle – but based on his narrow runoff victory over S.C. speaker pro tempore Tommy Pope back in May (and his inability to unify “Republicans” in the district in its aftermath) we suspect Norman will not go unchallenged.

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