Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) is retiring in 2022 rather than run for another term, giving Democrats a significant opening towards keeping the Senate in the midterms and strengthening their majority, as Pennsylvania has typically trended blue in the past. Despite retiring, Toomey decided to be remembered as a coward by voting against Donald Trump’s conviction after he was impeached for his role in the January 6 insurrection. Now it seems that at least one of the candidates running for the Republican nomination is looking to honor that legacy of cowardice, as Sean Parnell has declared himself a senatorial candidate in the race.
If that name sounds familiar, it’s not just because he ran against Conor Lamb for Congress last year (and lost), but also because he’s one of eight plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed against the state of Pennsylvania after they certified Joe Biden’s electoral win in the state. In the lawsuit, Parnell claimed that 2.5 million people in his state voted illegally and their votes should be thrown out. At least he’s somewhat consistent, because he also refused to accept his own two-point loss against Lamb which he claimed was due to irregularities.
However this plays out in the GOP primary is a win for Democrats. If Parnell is successful, this issue can haunt him right through the general election – with his opponent and voters regularly asking him whose votes he felt were illegal. If he doesn’t win the nomination, they can stick the issue to whoever the nominee is – and even ask them if they felt their own primary win was legitimate. There is the possibility that Lamb himself may enter the race – but the Democrats already have a fairly crowded and talented field of candidates to get behind.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making