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Democrats stick with South Carolina candidate despite spousal abuse scandal

Archie Parnell, a tax lawyer who’d run a competitive 2017 campaign for South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District, has won the nomination for the November election — and Democrats aren’t happy.

Last month, reporters obtained Parnell’s 1974 divorce records and discovered that he had assaulted his ex-wife and threatened her with a tire iron. While Parnell immediately apologized and said he was a “changed man,” most of his campaign staff quit and urged him to do the same. State Democratic leaders and the Democratic National Campaign Committee also urged Parnell to leave politics and wrote off their chances of winning the Republican-leaning seat.

But Parnell stayed in the race, telling voters in a video last week that it was up to them to decide whether he was worthy of representing them.

“It is the voters of the 5th District who should decide the outcome of this election and not me or certain Democratic Party officers,” he said. “We all have the capacity to change and be better.”

Democrats reiterated their calls for Parnell to drop out, but no other Democrat in the primary — a race that included a professional clown — had put together a credible campaign.

Live primary results: Florida and Arizona, plus Oklahoma runoffs

There are big races today in Arizona and Florida. In both states, voters are picking their candidates for key Senate races, though in Florida the winners have looked clear for months. In Florida, voters in both parties are weighing in on their candidates for governor.

Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, voters are choosing candidates in runoffs, including for the GOP nominee for governor.

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