Republican infighting in Pennsylvania burst into the open on Tuesday.
It started when former President Donald Trump waded into the state's politics with a statement emailed to reporters.
"The only reason Senator 'Gloomy' Pat Toomey is not running for the Senate in Pennsylvania is that I would not give him an endorsement—I feel he has been a terrible representative for both Pennsylvania and the United States, as a whole," Trump said.
Toomey is serving his second term in the Senate. He is the former president of the far-right group Club for Growth and also represented Pennsylvania as a congressman for three terms.
"Fortunately for Pennsylvania, we have a great Senate candidate, Sean Parnell, who I have just given my Complete and Total Endorsement. He will do all of the things that Toomey is incapable of doing," Trump wrote.
But as The Philadelphia Inquirer reports, Republican Jeff Bartos, who is also seeking the GOP nomination, "launched a charged personal attack against a leading GOP opponent Tuesday, arguing that Sean Parnell is 'unelectable' because of protective orders Parnell's wife sought against him as their marriage splintered."
The newspaper noted the 2017 and 2018 temporary protection-from-abuse order were not extended after a full hearing and have been expunged.
The newspaper reported, "Word of the protective orders has been quietly simmering in political and media circles for months, but Bartos made them public for the first time in an interview Tuesday."
Bartos told the newspaper the GOP frontrunner's "actions and attitude toward women are disturbing, well-documented, and disqualifying."
Parnell, in response, said Bartos should drop out of the race.
"Jeff Bartos is a desperate liar, plain and simple," Parnell said in a statement. "Bartos' allegations are horrific lies and all the evidence proves it. Not only does he know full well that these allegations are provably false, but his willingness to spread these lies without any consideration for the damage he's doing to my three young kids is utterly disgusting."
The newspaper noted Parnell's campaign declined to make him available for an interview.
In 2020, Parnell ran in Pennsylvania's 17th congressional district, narrowly losing to Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA).
Lamb is seeking the Democratic nomination for the open Senate seat. Other Democratic Party hopefuls include Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, state Sen. Sharif Street, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta and Val Arkoosh, chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissions.
NEW: GOP Sen candidate Jeff Bartos is attacking rival Sean Parnell over 2 temporary protective orders Parnell's wif… https://t.co/ySomZXlRrP— Jonathan Tamari (@Jonathan Tamari) 1631062163.0
Bartos says Parnell's "actions and attitude toward women are disturbing, well-documented, and disqualifying." He s… https://t.co/8E8sblkS4e— Jonathan Tamari (@Jonathan Tamari) 1631062275.0
Bartos' attack on Parnell's treatment of women opens a new, personal front in the PA Senate primary. He and Parnel… https://t.co/TvzzGB5NeT— Jonathan Tamari (@Jonathan Tamari) 1631062466.0