Archie Parnell


Democrat Archie Parnell, who closely challenged Republican Ralph Norman for an open South Carolina seat in Congress earlier this year, will run again.

And no, that's not a permanent tattoo he's getting in his accompanying campaign ad.

Parnell formally jumped into the race Monday during a press conference in Sumter.

“After careful consideration with family, friends, and trusted advisers, I have concluded that this is too important a time in our nation for me to step aside," he said in a media announcement. "I’m running for Congress again because we are still in urgent need of good jobs, lower taxes for families, and strong communities.”

Parnell faced Norman, a former state lawmaker, earlier this year for the 5th District seat that came open when Mick Mulvaney became President Donald Trump's budget director.

He made the June special election against Norman closer than expected in the Republican-leaning district, finishing 2,700 votes behind, a difference of about 3 percentage points.

Democrats had hoped to make the race a referendum on Trump's early performance.

“The utter failure of Congress to accomplish anything over the last months has made my decision even more certain," Parnell said in announcing his bid.

"Instead of putting America back to work, Congress has been busy failing to pass tax relief for middle class families, and doing everything in their power to take health care away from our friends and families," Parnell added.

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The 5th District covers all or parts of 11 counties, and stretches from Sumter, in the Midlands, to Rock Hill and the Charlotte suburbs.

Parnell is a former tax attorney and business manager for Goldman Sachs from Sumter.

The tattoo shown in his ad reads: "Parnell for Congress 2018."

"It's a real tattoo, just not a permanent one," his campaign said.

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 843-937-5551. Follow him on Twitter at @skropf47.

Political Editor

Schuyler Kropf is The Post and Courier political editor. He has covered every major political race in South Carolina dating to 1988, including for U.S. Senate, governorship, the Statehouse and Republican and Democratic presidential primaries.