Democrat Archie Parnell nearly shocked political observers with his closer-than-expected run for Congress earlier this year.
He’ll be back for a second round, he told supporters — and apparently showed off some new ink to show his commitment.
In a campaign announcement video released Monday, Parnell pledged to create jobs and lower taxes for South Carolinians while a tattoo artist appears to ink “Parnell For Congress 2018” on his right bicep.
His campaign staff did not confirm or deny whether the tattoo was real.
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“People have been asking me what I’ve been doing since the election,” said Parnell 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 5th District seat in Congress, 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 only 3.2 percent, making it the closest congressional race in South Carolina in more than 20 years.
Norman will be back up for re-election in November 2018.
Parnell made his announcement public Monday morning in his hometown of Sumter. He’ll also address supporters at the Five and Dine restaurant 5-7 p.m. Monday at 135 East Main Street 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.