A Democratic candidate in North Carolina who bragged that he could both be a social media "troll" and campaign lost his bid for the U.S. House of Representatives by nearly 30 percentage points.
Democrat Kyle Parrish, who ran to unseat an incumbent Republican in North Carolina's Fifth Congressional District, spent much of the campaign's final days on Twitter rather than on the trail. In the week before Nov. 8, he posted on Twitter at least 140 times, and few of the posts were directly related to his district.
In one flurry of posts sent on Nov. 1, he defended his social media obsession, arguing he could be a "troll" and run an effective campaign.
"I can do both," Parrish said after attacking a Nov. 1 Washington Free Beacon report about how the New York Times cited a former Democratic National Committee official as an "expert" to defend Sen. Raphael Warnock (D., Ga.). Parrish pointed in a series of tweets to negative stories about Republican candidate Herschel Walker.
Parrish was not running against Walker, but rather longtime incumbent Virginia Foxx, who ultimately prevailed over Parrish by about 27 percentage points.
Asked before the election why he was picking Twitter fights instead of campaigning, Parrish said he'd "rather troll" than campaign.
I’d rather troll you.
Fun to Highlight the fact that you have absolutely no integrity or standards.
You are literally protecting and trying to elect a man who threatened to blow his wife’s head off and had a standoff with cops.
What does that say about you?
— Kyle Parrish for Congress NC-5 (@KP4NC) November 1, 2022
Parrish in the days before Election Day also posted obsessively about Elon Musk's Twitter purchase, among other issues.
"Elon Musk is an ungrateful bastard who gives no credit to anyone else, even where it is clearly due," the failed candidate wrote on Nov. 1.
Parrish in a Nov. 5 tweet described himself as a "prospective congressman, deck repair guy, internet troll."
"I have skilz," he added.
Parrish, who has tweeted more than 200 times since his loss, said he is proud of his losing performance.
"I got over 100,000 votes and 5 percent more than the Democrat candidate in 2020, so you tell me," Parrish told the Free Beacon. "And I'm living rent free in y'all's head! That is awesome."
Parish has told local outlets he plans to run for office again in 2024, and said he has a "better idea of what [he] need[s] to do as a candidate" next time.
"We might not win, but I guarantee you we're going to peel off points," Parrish told the Winston-Salem Journal.