NRSC Chair Scott Won’t Say Whether GOP Candidate Accused Of Strangling Wife Should Be A Senator

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol January 17, 2019. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), signaled on Monday that a candidate being accused of strangling his wife isn’t a dealbreaker for the GOP’s top Senate fundraising organization.

During an appearance on CNN, Scott was asked about Laurie Snell, the wife of GOP Pennsylvania Senate candidate Sean Parnell who testified under oath earlier this month that the Republican had choked her until she bit him to get free. Snell also alleged during the same child custody hearing that Parnell physically abused their kids.

In light of the testimony, was Parnell “still the right candidate?” CNN host Breanna Keilar asked.

“We’ll see who comes out of the primary,” the senator replied. “Facts will come out. We’ll find out exactly what people think.

The NRSC leader ducked again when pressed on whether he believed Parnell, who has been endorsed by ex-President Donald Trump, was the right person for the job, saying he’s “not supporting or opposing people in primaries.”

“I’m going to help our incumbents, help our Republicans who get through the primaries,” he said. “That’s what my focus is. The voters of each of the states will decide who the right candidates on the Republican and Democrat side are.”

Scott added that he was “sure” that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee “will be doing the exact same thing” as him: supporting whoever wins the primaries.

Parnell is the second Trump-endorsed Senate candidate facing allegations of abuse. Georgia hopeful Herschel Walker allegedly threatened to kill both his ex-wife and his ex-girlfriend. He denies the allegations.

Parnell has also denied his wife’s allegations, saying in a statement that he “never raised a hand in anger” toward her and their children.

Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: