Nancy Mace Holds Off a Trump-Endorsed Challenger in South Carolina
CHARLESTON, SC — Representative Nancy Mace, a Republican who clashed with former President Donald J. Trump after the Jan. 6 attack, on Tuesday repelled a primary challenge from Katie Arrington, a former state representative who had Mr. Trump’s support. The race was named by The Associated Press.
Ms. Mace played down her background as a one-time Waffle House waitress and the first woman to graduate from the Citadel, South Carolina’s military college. Ms. Mace, 44, called herself a “new voice” for the Republican Party and championed a range of issues in Congress, including veterans’ rights and the legalization of marijuana. Her Lowcountry district, which stretches along South Carolina’s southeast coast from Charleston to just past Hilton Head Island, favors Republicans.
Ms. Mace angered Mr. Trump a few days into her first term after denouncing his role in the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol. His false claims about the election theft, she said in interviewscontributed to the riots and “wiped out” the achievements of the Trump administration.
Mr. Trump then referred to Ms. Mace as a “RINO,” a pejorative acronym meaning Republican in name only, and backed Ms. Arrington.
In an effort to re-enter his good favours, Mrs. Mace to New York in February to film a video for Trump Tower that promoted her loyalty to the former president†
But Mr. Trump did not heed her pleas. He headlined a rally weeks later for Ms. Arrington and State Rep. Russell Fry, challenging another South Carolina Representative, Tom Rice. Mr Rice was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Mr Trump after the Capitol riots.
Mr. Trump heavily criticized Ms. Mace and Mr. Rice during the primary campaign. Last week he staged a tele-rally for his two favorite candidates, underscoring the alleged infidelity of Ms Mace and Mr Rice.
Still, Ms. Mace raised more money than Ms. Arrington by a margin of 2 to 1 and spent more than $300,000 on the air, according to political spending tracker AdImpact. Courting the district’s most influential political and business leaders, she campaigned in the closing days of the race alongside a number of high profile figures on the right, including former Trump White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former Governor Nikki Haley.
Ms. Mace will face Democratic candidate Annie Andrews in November.