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Parnell Launches 2022 Senate Bid

After a month of speculation, Sean Parnell formally announced his entrance into the 2022 U.S. Senate race on Tuesday. 

Parnell, a combat veteran and author who was the GOP nominee for the 17th Congressional District in 2020, told a group of supporters in Allegheny County on Tuesday night about his bid for Senate, while also releasing a 3:35 minute long campaign video

“Today, the fight for freedom is not on a battlefield overseas,” Parnell said in his campaign announcement video. “Now the fight to preserve fundamental things that make us Americans will be won or lost here at home.”

“America calls Pennsylvania the Keystone State,” Parnell continued. “The foundation and the future of our great republic.”

“It’s up to us to rise to the moment once again,” Parnell said. “The U.S. Senate is evenly divided. The Senate control depends on us.”

This will be Parnell’s second run for elected office in Pennsylvania. 

In 2020, he launched an unsuccessful campaign for Congress, losing to Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Allegheny) by just over 2 points in the 17th Congressional District. He never formally conceded the race to Lamb. 

According to Daily Kos, Joe Biden bested Donald Trump by just under 3 points in the battleground western PA district.  

Parnell promoted the Trump agenda during his 2020 run for Congress. Trump endorsed Parnell’s bid for the 17th Congressional District in Dec. 2019, prior to the GOP primary election. 

Parnell delivered an address at the Republican National Convention in 2020 boosting Trump’s campaign, while accusing the Democratic Party of being “bloated with contempt for middle America.”

Parnell told KDKA in an interview that he “would hope” to get Trump’s support in his current race. Donald Trump Jr. also tweeted on Feb. 1 that he would support Parnell for whatever office he sought in 2022.

Congressman Guy Reschenthaler (R-Washington) also recently told a reporter from Newsmax that Parnell would be the best GOP candidate for U.S. Senate, prior to Parnell officially joining the race.  

The battlelines are already being drawn in the growing field for U.S. Senate and shots have already been fired at Parnell’s campaign. 

Jeff Bartos, a Montgomery County real estate developer who was the GOP Lt. Governor nominee in 2018, is also seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2022. 

A few hours before Parnell’s announcement, Bartos’ campaign sent out a joint letter that included GOP state Sens. Dan Laughlin, Judy Ward, and Bob Mensch, along with 3 other state Reps. and 6 county chairs urging Parnell to instead run for Congress and issuing their support for Bartos’ campaign. 

After Parnell’s formal announcement, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jonathan Tamari reported that Bartos launched ads on Google saying that Parnell “sided with liberals” and linked to a 2016 tweet from Parnell calling on Trump to release his tax returns. 

A few weeks ago, Treasurer Stacy Garrity announced her support for Bartos’ campaign

The Pennsylvania Democratic Party also took a shot at Parnell after he entered the race, calling the GOP Senate hopeful as a “sore loser” and the “latest candidate to join their ‘super MAGA Trump’ primary.”

While Bartos and Parnell are the highest profile names to enter the GOP race to succeed outgoing GOP Sen. Pat Toomey thus far, there are several other candidates that have declared their intentions to seek the party nomination. 

Sean Gale, an attorney, Everett Stern, a businessman and HSBC whistleblower, and Kathy Barnette, a veteran and conservative commentator who was the GOP nominee for Pennsylvania’s 4th Congressional District in 2020, are also in the GOP race. According to the FEC, James Edward Hayes, John Debellis, Martin Rosenfeld, and Robert Jeffries have also filed statements of candidacy. 

Other Republicans that have previously been reported as interested in seeking the GOP nomination according to Politico include, former Congressman Ryan Costello (R-Chester), former Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite, former gubernatorial candidate Paul Mango, former U.S. Ambassador Carla Sands, and business consultant Craig Snyder. 

The Democratic field is expected to be crowded as well. 

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia), Dr. Kevin Baumlin, and former Norristown Borough Council President John McGuigan have all formally launched campaigns for the open seat. State Sen. Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Elections Commission for U.S. Senate and formally announced his exploratory committee in April. 

According to the FEC website, Brandaun Dean, Larry Johnson, Alexandria Khalil, Kyle Norton, and Alan Shank have also filed statements of candidacy for the Democratic primary. 

Reps. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery), Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester), and Conor Lamb (D-Allegheny) have also been mentioned as potential Democratic candidates.

9 Responses

  1. To Sean Parnell:

    You think Afghanistan was tough? Wait til you try to get votes in SEPA.

  2. He lost the 17th Congressional District in 2020.
    He’s going to lose the US Senate race in 2022

  3. Jeff Batros is so weak. In 2018 he got pushed out of the senate race and settled for the LG nomination in a race the GOP had no chance of winning (so it wasn’t really a consultation prize at all). I think he also got a pat on the head by LG Fetterman for buying him coffee or something when Batros wanted to make friends with the socialist. Now he is about to get demolished in the 22 senate race bc he was trying to say he liked Trump policies but wanted to keep his distance from President Trump (news flash.. can’t have it both ways!). Really sad to see people who have money be so clueless about their own abilities. He will lose again for sure and waste more of his own money (think he is already in for like $500k and he blew that much in 18 also).

  4. Bartos put out a list of a few nobodys begging Parnell to run for The House instead of the Senate. It was so really embarrassing and a sign of total weakness. Bartos just saw his dreams disappear before his eyes and he knows it. Save your time and other people’s money – just bow out now Bartos before you get embarrassed like you did in 2018.

  5. Reading his website, I see he mentions and is pictured with 3 kids, but what about a wife?

    Also, he gives the obligatory “I’m not a career politician” line, but in fact he is the standard neocon Republican politician spewing the usual right wing rhetoric on regular appearances on Fox News. In fact, I would say he is a Matt Gaetz doppelgänger.

  6. Jeff Bartos is finished. Parnell entering is a death knell to his already questionable candidacy. Parnell’s video compared to the mask-filled Democrat pandering video of Bartos shows you exactly how Bartos to his core is a left-leaning Republican with no message. Bartos will stay in the race because his consultants will convince him he can win in order to bleed him dry even though they even realize he is finished. Hey, they gotta suck at the Bartos teet as long as possible to eat too. Can’t blame them. Parnell is the one to beat in this race. It’s his to lose.

      1. Is his name “Bartos” or “Batros”? “Batros” is better, IMO. Jeff Batros. Has a nice ring to it.

  • Understanding that basic education funding should/will be first, what should be the next highest priority for the General Assembly?

    • Raising The Minimum Wage (25%)
    • Legalizing Adult-Use Marijuana (24%)
    • None of the above. Something Else. (20%)
    • Economic Development (14%)
    • Higher Education (8%)
    • Public Transportation (8%)
    • Workforce Opportunities and Innovation (2%)

    Total Voters: 51

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