Clyburn reverses on Parnell Monday night fish fry in Sumter

Assistant House Democratic Leader will not be in attendance


After initially planning to appear at the final campaign event Monday night in Sumter of Archie Parnell, U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn will not be in attendance.

A news release from the Parnell team last week said Clyburn, a Sumter native, would be a "special guest" at an "election eve" campaign fish fry tonight at the M.H. Newton Family Life Enrichment Center, 805 S. Harvin St., from 6 to 8 p.m.

Clyburn -- the assistant House Democratic Leader -- announced Wednesday night he was pulling out of his planned attendance at Parnell's event.

“In view of the misrepresentations of the purpose of the end-of-the-campaign fish fry in my district and hometown of Sumter, SC, I will not attend the event, and I still do not endorse Archie Parnell,” Clyburn tweeted.

Asked about his decision to attend the fish fry, Clyburn told The Charleston Post and Courier that it had "nothing to do with Archie" and he had not spoken to him about it. Appearing at the same event as Parnell would not have constituted a re-endorsement of his campaign, Clyburn said.

Despite Parnell's campaign suggesting the congressman was coming at their request, Clyburn told The Post and Courier he accepted the invitation from young Democratic volunteers in Sumter.

In the spring, documents revelaed by The Post and Courier showed Parnell was involved in domestic violence in 1973 with his first wife.

Clyburn's reversal came after news sources reported that several of Clyburn's closest allies were privately expressing concern that the last-minute appearance alongside Parnell could jeopardize his own chances of potential leadership positions in the U.S. House.

Parnell is running in the 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives against U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C.

Clyburn, who was first elected in 1993,  is running for the 6th Congressional District against Republican challenger Gerhard R. Gressmann and Green Party challenger Bryan Pugh.