Sean Parnell is suspending his campaign for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, his campaign announced on Monday.
The news comes just hours after Parnell, who had secured a coveted endorsement from former President Trump, lost a battle for custody of his three children with his estranged wife, Laurie Snell. Snell has testified that Parnell strangled her, abused their children, and told her to “go get an abortion” during the course of their marriage.
“I strongly disagree with the ruling today and I’m devastated by the decision,” Parnell wrote in a statement. “I plan on asking the court to reconsider this decision. In the order, two of the leading factors that weighed heavily in the judge’s decision revolved around me being a leading U.S. Senate candidate. There is nothing more important to me than my children, and while I plan to ask the court to reconsider, I can’t continue with a Senate campaign. My focus right now is 100% on my children, and I want them to know I do not have any other priorities and will never stop fighting for them. Thank you.”
The accusations against Parnell didn’t seem to bother Trump, who in September had endorsed Parnell in what promises to be a crowded Republican primary to replace retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey. Days after Snell made a string of horrifying accusations about Parnell’s behavior, Punchbowl News reported that Trump was holding a massive fundraiser for Parnell at Mar-a-Lago in January.
Parnell has already called the former president to inform him that he’s suspending his campaign, according to Politico.