Incumbent U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman, R-York, boasts a cash lead over Democratic challenger Archie Parnell of Sumter in South Carolina’s 5th District congressional race.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-Lexington, has a huge money lead over his Democratic challenger. However, Democrat Sean Carrigan hopes to raise more money after Wilson’s recent comments about arming 3-year-olds to defend schools.
Despite campaign staffer and party support fleeing after revelations of past domestic violence, Parnell managed to amass more cash on hand than any other S.C. Democrat running for Congress in November, with the exception of U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, D-Richland.
“I am honored and humbled by the support we continue to receive,” Parnell said in a statement. “Our message of standing up for working families and putting people first is resonating across the district and we are building momentum as we head toward election day.”
Parnell was left for dead in May by party leaders, who withdrew their support and urged him to drop out of the race after decades-old allegations of domestic violence rocked his campaign.
Parnell since has tried to rebuild his campaign, hiring a new campaign manager, deputy manager, communications director and a volunteer coordinator. However, last week, the Huffington Post reported some staffers had quit Parnell’s campaign, citing his “hair-trigger temper” and abusive behavior.
Parnell’s campaign raised more than $104,000 from May 24 to June 30, but $70,000 of that money came from the candidate himself. The retired Goldman Sachs executive started the period with $377,745 cash on hand. His campaign spent $63,599 heading into the primary, leaving him with more than $405,000 in cash on hand for a rematch this fall with Norman.
Norman won a surprisingly close three-point victory over Parnell in a 2017 special election to replace former U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, who President Donald Trump tapped to become White House budget director.
Norman raised more than $65,000 between May 24 and June 30, adding to the $462,542 he had on hand at the start of the filing period. He spent $16,876, leaving him with $496,000 in cash.
Of the more than $65,000 that Norman raised, $31,000 came from political action committees, including the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, S.C. Banks Association, the National Rifle Association’s American Political Victory Fund, Duke Energy and Honeywell International.
A Norman campaign spokesman could not be reached for comment Monday.
The 5th District stretches from York County in the north-central part of South Carolina to the Midlands, including Kershaw County.
In South Carolina’s 2nd District race, U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-Lexington, has a large financial edge over Midlands Democrat Carrigan.
Carrigan raised almost $13,000 and loaned his campaign another $6,500 during the most recent reporting period. Overall, his campaign collected $31,000 during the election cycle. Carrigan spent all but $5,776 to win a June 26 primary runoff as he tries to oust Wilson, who is seeking his 10th term.
“We don’t have a lot of money on hand, but we’re getting a lot of donations from inside the district and the country (from people) fed up with the Washington establishment running over the working class,” said campaign manager Josh Hughes. “And (we) expect we’ll blow our fundraising goal of $90,000 for the next quarter through the roof because of Joe Wilson’s commentary in regard to arming 3-year-olds.”
The Republican incumbent was one of several politicians, celebrities and public figures fooled into appearing on a TV show hosted by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. In a clip from Cohen’s “Who is America?” Wilson was filmed appearing to voice support for the idea of arming young students as a deterrent to school shootings.
Wilson, who has represented the 2nd District since 2001, did not have a primary challenger and has $585,712 in cash on hand heading into the general election. He raised more than $105,000 from May 24 to June 30.
“We have been overwhelmed by the response of donors across the district who have invested in our campaign,” Wilson said in a statement. “They believe, as we believe, that working together we can keep South Carolina moving in the right direction.”
The 2nd District includes Aiken, Barnwell and Lexington counties as well as parts of Orangeburg and Richland counties.