Sean Parnell Has Trump’s Endorsement, but His US Senate Rivals Have Cash

Carla Sands

FILE - Carla Sands seen at the official inauguration of the Australian War Monument at the Churchill Memorial Park on September 17, 2020 in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo by Ole Jensen/Getty Images)

By Associated Press

October 15, 2021

Trump’s ambassador to Denmark, Camp Hill resident Carla Sands, loaned her campaign $3 million, while Montgomery County real estate investor Jeff Bartos, could see significant help from a super PAC supporting him.

HARRISBURG — An endorsement by former President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania’s hotly contested US Senate race isn’t backing down rival Republicans, with one putting up millions for her campaign and another getting a seven-figure pledge from a donor.

Camp Hill resident Carla Sands, Trump’s ambassador to Denmark, loaned her campaign $3 million, according to her first federal fundraising report due Friday. Sands has significant personal wealth left over from her and her late husband’s California-based real estate investment firm.

Another candidate, Montgomery County real estate investor Jeff Bartos, could see significant help from a super PAC supporting him.

Scott Wagner, the GOP’s gubernatorial nominee in 2018, said Friday that he has pledged $1.5 million to the Bartos-aligned Jobs For Our Future PAC, and could give more in the future to help Bartos.

Trump last month endorsed Sean Parnell, a decorated former Army Ranger who penned a memoir of his service in Afghanistan, which became a New York Times bestseller. 

Wagner said he doesn’t know how much weight Trump’s endorsement holds.

“I don’t necessarily think it’s a slam dunk because of an endorsement,” Wagner said. 

“Right now, the political winds are shifting pretty quickly.”

On Thursday, a judge refused to seal records and proceedings in the ongoing divorce and custody battle involving Parnell and his wife, or grant Parnell’s request to bar his wife from talking about past restraining orders she had sought against him.

Parnell had made the requests after Bartos and an associated super PAC attacked Parnell over the matter, calling him “unelectable.”

Bartos and his allies aired attack ads in September, days after former Trump endorsed Parnell.

The contest for Pennsylvania’s open US Senate seat could be among the nation’s most competitive next year.

The Democratic field is also crowded. John Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor, reported nearly $4.2 million cash in his campaign account as of Sept. 30.


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