Sumter financial advisor Archie Parnell says he will try again to win a seat in Congress, just months after narrowly losing by 2,700 votes in a South Carolina special election.
Parnell announced Monday he will challenge the now-incumbent U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman, who beat him by a surprisingly close margin for the conservative-leaning district in June. The former tax attorney and Goldman Sachs advisor made the announcement in Sumter.
“I’m proud to announce that I’m running for Congress again,” he said in an ad released by his campaign Monday. “To create good jobs, lower your taxes and to make our communities the kind of places we all want them to be.”
Parnell surprised political observers when he only lost by 3 percentage points to Norman in a district which had overwhelmingly reelected predecessor Mick Mulvaney on three previous elections. However, he also benefitted from an energized base and small turnout in the June special election and likely faces a tougher general election next year should he make it through the primaries. Voter turnout is normally much higher when a governor’s race is also on the ballot.
So far, no other Democratic candidates have declared for the race.
Parnell was known for releasing tongue-in-cheek ads which often made of himself during the special election. The ad released Monday was no different — it showed him reading “50 Shades of the U.S. Tax Code,” getting a “Parnell for Congress 2018” tattoo and playing Go Fish with U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn.
Mulvaney resigned in February to become White House Office of Management and Budget director, creating the need for a special election.