Democrat Archie Parnell surprised some political observers with his closer-than-expected run for Congress earlier this year. He’ll be back for a second round, he told supporters Monday.
In a campaign announcement video released Monday, Parnell pledged to create jobs and lower taxes for South Carolinians. As a set up for his annoucement, a tattoo artist appeared to ink “Parnell For Congress 2018” on his right bicep.
His campaign staff would not confirm whether the tattoo was real.
“People have been asking me what I’ve been doing since the election,” Parnell said in the video. “I’ve met many of you all across the district and after watching all of the madness happening in Washington right now... today I’m proud to announce that I’m running for Congress again.”
Parnell was the Democratic nominee in a special election earlier this year for South Carolina’s Congressional seat in the 5th District. The seat had been vacated when U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-Indian Land, was appointed as President Donald Trump’s budget director.
Parnell lost in June to former state Rep. Ralph Norman, R-Rock Hill. But Norman’s margin of victory was 3.2 percent, making it the closest congressional race in South Carolina in more than 20 years.
Norman will be up for re-election in November 2018.
Parnell made his announcement public Monday morning in his hometown of Sumter. Later in the day he also addressed supporters at the Five and Dine restaurant in Rock Hill.
Parnell told a crowd at Patriot Hall in Sumter he was running again because he was frustrated by the “utter failure of Congress to accomplish anything over the last months.”
“I ask you to stand with me in this fight,” Parnell said. “Together we will win this race because South Carolina deserves a representative who is focused on the best interests of this community, not the well-connected and the special interests.”
Before running for office, Parnell was a senior financial adviser for Goldman Sachs, working for the investment firm in Europe and Asia before returning to South Carolina.