Tags: Ralph Norman | Archie Parnell | Special Election | Osoff

Republican Ralph Norman Narrowly Wins in SC

Image: Republican Ralph Norman Narrowly Wins in SC
Republican Ralph Norman wins in South Carolina. (AP)

Thursday, 22 Jun 2017 12:18 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Democrats came shockingly close to an upset victory in the special election in South Carolina’s 5th District on June 20.

Democrat Archie Parnell came within 3,000 (2,836 votes out nearly 87,000) of defeating Republican Ralph Norman for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Former state legislator and real estate developer Republican Ralph Norman edged CPA Parnell by just 3.1 percentage points — 51.1 to 47.9 percent.

Adding to the surprise and dramatic outcome was that the national and international media, including the London-based Financial Times and Radio France, focused on the Georgia-6 special election Tuesday and all but ignored the race to succeed Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney in SC-5.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee made only a perfunctory contribution to Parnell’s campaign and liberal super PACs ignored Parnell as well, in favor of helping Democrat Jon Ossoff in the higher-profile contest in GA-6.

Overall, Parnell spent less than a half a million dollars.

Don Fowler, former Democratic National Campaign chairman under Bill Clinton and onetime Democratic state chairman of South Carolina, told Newsmax: “He performed very, very well. He ran a a centrist Democrat in the mold of John Spratt [moderate former congressman, who held the 5th District from 1982 until his upset defeat at the hands of Mulvaney in 2010].”

Eschewing controversial topics such as funding Planned Parenthood, Parnell ran on his background as a tax lawyer (“I know enough about the U.S. tax code to absolutely bore you to tears,” hetold voters) and vowed, “I won’t promise you the world but I will work every day to make your life better.”

Parnell did say he would support keeping Obamacare, but carefully avoided attacks on President Trump in a district he won with 59 percent of the vote last year. He did “play the Trump card,” as Fowler put it when he denounced the president’s firing FBI Director James Comey and likened it to something that nefarious "President Frank Underwood' would do on TV’s “House of Cards.” (The 5th District of South Carolina is considered the home district of Underwood on the series.)

Fowler also pointed to the divisive GOP primary in which the conservative Norman eked out a win over fellow state legislator Tommy Pope, a favorite of the party establishment.

Backed by the House Freedom Caucus, which is hostile to Speaker Paul Ryan, and opposed in a hard-hitting TV blitz by the U.C. Chamber of Commerce, Norman emerged from the primary wounded and scarred. “I think a lot of what happened in the primary carried into the special election,” Fowler told me.

Former State Republican Chairman Van Hipp cited “a small turnout and non-Carolinians moving into the suburbs of the district” for the closeness of the race. “If they had spent just a fraction of the George Soros money they spent in Georgia,” Hipp told me, “they might've had a chance."

"John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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Democrat Archie Parnell came within 3,000 (2,836 votes out nearly 87,000) of defeating Republican Ralph Norman for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Ralph Norman, Archie Parnell, Special Election, Osoff
Thursday, 22 Jun 2017 12:18 PM
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