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In RNC Speech, Parnell Urges Democrats To Support Trump In November

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Western Pennsylvania Republican Sean Parnell was given a primetime spot to address the Republican National convention Monday night. 

And while other Republicans at the virtual convention stoked fears over how they believed a Biden administration would handle issues like immigration, the economy, and policing, Parnell offered a much more upbeat message.

“It doesn't matter what you look like, who you love, how you worship, your gender or your job,” Parnell said. “If you're a traditional Democrat disillusioned with how radical your party's become, then stand with us. You're most welcome.”

Some job sectors may be more welcome than others, however: The Republican's speech also blasted the Democratic Party as being full of hedge fund managers, professors, tech executives and celebrities who are “all bloated with contempt for middle America.”

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which seeks to elect Democrats to the House of Representatives, responded to the attacks by suggesting that Parnell was himself a "wannabee national personality" whose "quest for national stardom [is] why he's running for Congress." And it pointed to remarks he made on TV last year,  in which he suggested that feminism and shifting expectations of gender roles had created "one generation of women tyrants after the next." (Parnell characterized the remarks as "tongue in cheek," consistent with the tone of the provocative "comedy show" on which he made them.)

Parnell hopes to unseat Democrat Conor Lamb in the fall in the 17th Congressional District, which includes many Allegheny County suburbs and Beaver County. It is made up both of working-class communities and college-educated suburbs.

Parnell is a Fox and Friends contributor and mortgage consultant, whose candidacy has been touted, and was first publicized, by President Trump.

“Where Democrats once stood for hard-working, law abiding Americans who displayed our flag with pride, this new Democrat [sic] party considers these people uneducated racists clinging to guns and Bibles,” he said, referring to a 2008 statement by President Barack Obama that economically struggling voters "cling to guns or religion."

Lamb spoke briefly to the Democratic convention last week, among other officials considered rising stars in the party.

Lucy Perkins is an editor and also reports on federal government and elections for the Government and Accountability team. Before joining the WESA newsroom, she was an NPR producer in Washington, D.C., working on news programs like All Things Considered and Weekend Edition. You can reach her at lperkins@wesa.fm.
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