Failed House candidate who sued to block millions of votes in Pennsylvania runs for Senate


Sean Parnell was a plaintiff in a lawsuit that sought to invalidate millions of votes cast in the 2020 election.

A failed Republican House candidate who filed suit to block his state from certifying the results of the 2020 election and flip the election in favor of Donald Trump announced he's running for Pennsylvania's open U.S. Senate seat in 2022.

Sean Parnell, who lost the race for Pennsylvania's 17th Congressional District  last year to incumbent Democratic Rep. Conor Lamb, made the announcement in a video released Tuesday night in which he touts his military service and talks about the need to preserve "freedom."

Along with Republican Rep. Mike Kelly, Parnell was one of eight plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit in November seeking to block Pennsylvania from certifying Joe Biden's 81,660-vote victory in Pennsylvania.

The lawsuit said the roughly 2.5 million absentee ballots cast in the state were "unconstitutional" and should not count.

The lawsuit failed both in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and in the U.S. Supreme Court, which simply refused to hear Parnell's appeal of the state court's decision.

Parnell also refused to concede his own 2-point loss to Lamb in the 2020 election, making baseless allegations of "irregularities" in the vote.

Parnell, for his part, said he doesn't regret his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, telling a Pittsburgh CBS affiliate, "I'm not going to relitigate 2020. Like I told you before, I'm focused on 2022. But I will say regarding the lawsuit I filed on Act 77, I stand by it," adding that he's hoping to get Trump's endorsement.

Parnell is one of a number of GOP candidates running for the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Pat Toomey, who announced his retirement before the 2020 election.

The Democratic primary field is also crowded, with the possibility that more candidates will enter the race on both sides of the aisle.

Ultimately, the race is critical for both parties.

Republicans cannot afford to lose it if they want to win back the Senate majority in the 2022 midterm elections. And Democrats can pad their own majority if they pick up the seat.

Pennsylvania, for its part, has been close in the past two presidential elections. Trump won it by less than 1 point in 2016, while Biden carried it by just over 1 point in 2020.

The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan political handicapping outlet, currently rates the race a toss-up.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.