Rick Scott Declines to Say if Candidate Accused of Strangling Wife Is 'Right Candidate'

National Republican Senate Committee (NRSC) Chair Rick Scott declined to say if Sean Parnell, a Trump-backed Pennsylvania candidate who has been accused of domestic violence, is the "right candidate" when pressed by CNN's Brianna Keilar on Monday.

Parnell's wife, Laurie Parnell, testified during a November 1 divorce and custody proceeding that he allegedly choked her, called her a "whore" and hit their kids. She accused him of once allegedly slapping one of their kids hard enough to leave welts under the child's t-shirt.

Parnell denied the claims, saying in a statement, "I have never raised a hand in anger towards my wife or any of our three children."

Keilar asked Scott Monday about the allegations, asking if he believes Parnell is the "right candidate" for the election. Scott declined to answer, saying he is "not supporting or opposing people in primaries."

"I think what ultimately happens is people are going to look at somebody's background, say 'is that the type of person they want and are they talking about the issues I care about?'" he said.

He added that he believes the voters of the state will "decide who the right candidate" is, but declined to answer when Keilar asked if Parnell is the type of person Scott wants.

"In Pennsylvania, both Republicans and Democrats have primaries, so we'll see who comes out of the primary. Facts will come out. We'll find out exactly what people think," Scott said.

As the chair of the NRSC, Scott is tasked with recruiting Republicans to run in key Senate races. Pennsylvania, a swing state President Joe Biden won by just over one point, is widely expected to be one of the most closely-watched elections, as incumbent GOP Senator Pat Toomey is not running again.

In the Republican primary, Parnell, a former Army ranger, has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, who said Parnell has his "Complete and Total Endorsement."

"He will make Pennsylvania very proud," Trump wrote in a statement. "Sean Parnell will always put America first."

Parnell previously ran for U.S. Congress in Pennsylvania's 17th District, which includes areas near Pittsburgh. He ultimately lost against incumbent Democrat Conor Lamb by just over two points.

Several other candidates have entered the Republican primary, but Parnell has led in polls—though a significant majority of voters remain undecided. The latest Franklin & Marshall College poll from earlier in October showed him leading with 11 percent of the vote, while Kathy Barnette followed with three percent of the vote.

On the Democratic side, Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman has led polls, though many voters also remain undecided.

Newsweek reached out to the NRSC for comment Monday morning but did not hear back by publication. This story will be updated with any response.

Senator Rick Scott
Senator Rick Scott, pictured above on October 26, declined to say whether or not Sean Parnell, who has been accused of domestic violence, is the “right candidate” for Pennsylvania. Samuel Corum/Getty Images