Mace, 2 GOP rivals to meet on South Carolina debate stage

U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace is set to meet two GOP challengers on the debate stage seeking to oust her from South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District, arguing that she was disloyal to former President Donald Trump

Via AP news wire
Monday 23 May 2022 19:53
Election 2022-House-South Carolina
Election 2022-House-South Carolina

In one of the year's most closely watched congressional Republican primaries, U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace is set to meet two GOP challengers on the debate stage who are seeking to oust her from South Carolina's 1st Congressional District, arguing that she was disloyal to former President Donald Trump.

The Monday night matchup in Charleston is slated to be the only debate for Mace, Katie Arrington and Lynz Piper-Loomis ahead of the June 14 primary election.

With Piper-Loomis unable to attract significant fundraising, the race to this point has largely shaped up as a contest between the freshman Mace and Arrington, a former Defense Department cybersecurity expert who is making her second run for the seat. In 2018, Arrington notably knocked U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford out of the GOP primary, going on to lose the general election to Democrat Joe Cunningham, who became the first of his party in decades to flip a South Carolina House seat.

Mace, who ousted Cunningham in 2020 to become the first Republican woman elected to Congress from the state, has supported issues largely popular among conservatives, like transgender athlete bans, but has also backed bipartisan efforts, like the decriminalization of marijuana.

All three candidates have portrayed themselves as best-positioned to represent voters aligned with Trump. Both Arrington and Piper-Loomis have said they felt the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, a sentiment expressed by many of the candidates across the country to receive his backing.

That assertion has not been backed up by state electoral officials throughout the country that found the Trump campaign’s complaints systematically groundless and certified the election as fair and legitimate.

Mace, who had Trump's backing in 2020, filmed a video of herself in front of Trump Tower, saying Arrington was “more than qualified” to lose the seat to Democrats for a second time and casting herself as best suited to represent the district's “fiscally conservative values.”

She also reminded voters she was among Trump's “earliest supporters” in 2016, when she worked for his campaign.

But Arrington has the official endorsement of Trump, who in November solicited candidates to challenge Mace after her vote to certify President Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 election and frequent television appearances blaming Trump for the Jan. 6 insurrection.

During a March South Carolina rally, Trump called Mace “a terrible person” who “has no idea what she’s doing."

Both Mace and Arrington have been running TV ads in the district, with the incumbent pressing for completion of the U.S.-Mexico border wall — one of Trump's signature projects — and touting support from former Gov. Nikki Haley, who also served as Trump's ambassador to the United Nations.

In her first spot, Arrington boasted she is “Donald Trump's choice” for the seat and defined Mace as among politicians “only there to serve themselves.”

Mace had amassed a campaign war chest of more than $3.8 million as of the end of March, nearly $1 million of which came in the weeks after Trump backed Arrington. In the first quarter, Arrington said she brought in around $814,000, $525,000 of which was in the form of a personal loan from herself.

The winner of the 1st District GOP contest will go on to face Democratic nominee Dr. Annie Andrews, who faces no primary opposition, in November.

___

Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in