Exclusive – Sean Parnell on Senate Campaign: We Want Pennsylvania’s Working-Class Democrats ‘on Board’

Pennsylvania Republican congressional candidate Sean Parnell speaks ahead of a campaign rally with President Donald Trump Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020 in Moon Township, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Pennsylvania Republican Sean Parnell is reaching across the political aisle as he launches his 2022 bid for U.S. Senate, he said during an interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Saturday.

Parnell, a U.S. Army veteran and western Pennsylvania native, formally announced his campaign to fill the seat of retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) this week and emphasized Saturday to host Matthew Boyle that he is aiming to garner support in the contentious battleground state from swingable Democrats.

“The way to win Pennsylvania is every Republican, every single Republican, independent, and even moderate Blue Dog Democrats, pro-life — these are pro-life, pro-gun Democrats, working-class Democrats. These are our people,” Parnell said. “We want them on board.”

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The Senate campaign will be Parnell’s second run for office after he lost by a thin margin of about two percent to incumbent Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA) in 2020. Parnell contended that the record-breaking individual donations he saw in his first campaign are promising evidence of grassroots support which he intends to build upon over the next year. “We’re in this fight for the long haul,” he said. “No one is going to work harder than us, raise more money than us, and build a grassroots coalition.”

“Our campaign, we had 45,000 individual donors in 2020. We were a grassroots campaign,” Parnell asserted. “We raised more money in western Pennsylvania than any Democrat or Republican incumbent or challenger in general election history because of the people, so we’re not beholden to the Republican Party. We’re not beholden to large corporations. If I’m going to be beholden to anybody, it’s going to be the people.”

Early endorsements will also aid Parnell in his Senate pursuit, he said. The Pennsylvania Republican received immediate praise from his friend Donald Trump Jr. upon announcing his run, and then, on Friday, earned the backing of Reps. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) and Mike Kelly (R-PA) through an op-ed in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

“When you’re running a statewide race, it’s like a rising tide lifts all ships. The more leaders in Pennsylvania who come out early and support this campaign, the better,” Parnell said.

Reschenthaler and Kelly wrote in their endorsement that Parnell’s time in the army indicates he is a “fearless leader.” The decorated military veteran in 2006 served as the head of an infantry platoon stationed on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and, for more than a year, faced daily heavy combat that included many direct fire engagements.

Parnell told Breitbart News Saturday his experience proves the potential for Pennsylvanians with differing viewpoints and backgrounds to find common ground in supporting his campaign, which homes in on themes of American greatness and freedom:

“I led a super diverse infantry platoon, blacks next to whites, Christians next to atheists, rich next to poor, north next to south, Democrats next to Republicans, and it’s amazing what Americans can accomplish when they’re not focused on what divides us and what our differences are,” Parnell said. “So we came together under a common banner as Americans in one of the most hostile regions on the face of the planet. If we can do that there in Afghanistan, we sure as heck can do it here in Pennsylvania.”

Write to Ashley Oliver at aoliver@breitbart.com.

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