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Trump-Backed Senate Candidate Sean Parnell Drops Out Of Race After Losing Custody Battle

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP/KDKA) — The candidate endorsed by former President Donald Trump for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania is dropping out of the race after he lost a court fight over custody of his three children Monday.

Sean Parnell pans to ask the court to reconsider its decision, and he can't do that while campaigning for Senate, he said in a statement.

"My focus right now is 100% on my children, and I want them to know I do not have any other priorities and will never stop fighting for them," he said.

The judge, James Arner, wrote in a docket entry Monday that Parnell's estranged wife, Laurie Snell, will have sole legal custody of the school-age children, as well as primary physical custody. Parnell will have physical custody on three weekends per month, Arner wrote.

Snell was "the more credible witness," Arner wrote.

Snell's lawyer, Jen Gilliland Vanasdale, said Snell "is grateful that justice prevailed."

Testifying under oath on Nov. 8, Parnell denied Snell's allegations, saying he had never choked her or pinned her down, and never struck one of their children in a fit of rage.

Snell and Parnell have been living apart for at least three years, but have split custody of their children evenly.

Parnell's history with his wife became a subject in the Republican primary campaign, days after Trump endorsed Parnell over several other rivals.

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

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