Norman won the district in a 2017 special election to replace Mick Mulvaney, who was appointed as Office of Management and Budget director by President Trump. Norman is confident he and his fellow Republicans will hold the majority in the House.
“I don’t know why people would switch horses in the middle of the race when we’re doing so well,” he said. “The economy’s doing well. We’ve got respect among other nations now. When have we had the growth rate that we’ve had of the last year and a half? We haven’t. So I don’t think there’s going to be a blue wave but that’s why my message is, at least for the conservatives, get out and vote.”
Parnell, a Sumter financial advisor, decided to challenge Norman again in 2018 for the full term. However, his campaign was rattled when the Charleston Post & Courier revealed credible domestic violence accusations against him by an ex-wife in the early 1970s. Parnell admitted to the abuse, but said he is a changed man in his second marriage. But many Democratic leaders pulled their support and most of his staff resigned in May, saying he had tried to hide the accusations when they asked.
Parnell’s campaign did not schedule an interview prior to the publishing of this story. Previously, the Democrat has criticized Norman’s support for tariffs and a new border wall.
“We’ve got to pass the legislation to build the wall,” Norman said. “Our security is at stake. We’ve got to do that and by that, I mean getting it very simple: build the wall, end chain migration and the diversity lottery. Secondly, we’ve got to get this country back on a firm financial footing. Going bankrupt is not an option.”
Constitution Party candidate Michael Chandler of Fingerville calls his campaign for the District 5 seat “a revolution because it’s going to completely change the way people interact with the government.”
“We no longer have a constitutional government,” Chandler said. “The judges on the Supreme Court, they rule along party lines, not on constitutional law.”
Chandler argued most areas now being handled by lawmakers are not in the Constitution or not meant to be done by the government. “The government was made to create an ordered society and not to engineer a social one,” he said. “A lot of the social things that are going on now are not meant to be handled by the government . . . the (Supreme Court) had no right to rule on marriage. You are married by the state not the federal government. It’s beyond their jurisdiction.”