U.S. Senate candidate Sean Parnell dropping out of race after losing heated custody battle

PITTSBURGH — U.S. Senate candidate Sean Parnell is dropping out of the race after not getting primary custody of his three children.

A judge made the decision Monday, Channel 11′s news exchange partners at TribLIVE reported, as Parnell has been involved in a custody battle with his estranged wife, Laurie Snell.

Late Monday afternoon, a spokesperson for Parnell’s campaign issued a statement that he was dropping out of the race:

“I strongly disagree with the ruling today and I’m devastated by the decision. I plan on asking the court to reconsider this decision. In the order, two of the leading factors that weighed heavily in the judge’s decision revolved around me being a leading U.S. Senate candidate. There is nothing more important to me than my children, and while I plan to ask the court to reconsider, I can’t continue with a Senate campaign. 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. Thank you.”

Snell was awarded primary physical and sole legal custody of the children, according to TribLIVE. The judge gave Parnell partial physical custody.

During her testimony in the trial, Snell accused Parnell of physically and verbally abusing her and hitting two of their three children. Parnell denied the accusations.

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