Mace, a staunch fiscal conservative, prevailed over Katie Arrington, a former state lawmaker.
Arrington, who served in Trump’s Division of Protection, slammed Mace for voting to certify the 2020 election outcomes and criticizing Trump’s function within the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot.
With the advantage of a significant fundraising advantage and high-profile endorsements of her personal although, Mace efficiently argued that she was each a “constitutional conservative,” and higher outfitted to protect GOP management over the politically various district.
“This speaks to her potential to fundraise, her potential to get her message out to voters,” mentioned Gibbs Knotts, a political scientist on the School of Charleston. “And it’s proof that Republicans had been concerned about retaining this seat in Republican arms.”
Mace is now as a result of tackle Democratic nominee Annie Andrews, a pediatrician, within the normal election. Mace is favored to carry the seat, which was redrawn this 12 months to have a extra conservative citizens.
Mace’s win in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District comes on the heels of major outcomes in Georgia that had been equally disappointing for Trump.
However there are limits to the implications of GOP voters’ preferences within the coastal, Lowcountry area the place Republicans are inclined to have an unbiased streak.
“Actually within the first congressional district, the vast majority of the bottom has moved past Trump and is worried about electability,” Knotts mentioned.
Though the make-up of South Carolina’s 1st was extra liberal in 2020, Arrington’s electoral historical past gave Mace ammunition to argue that Arrington was a dangerous wager for Republicans.
In 2018, Arrington ousted then-Rep. Mark Sanford (R) in a major, largely due to Sanford’s outspoken criticism of Trump. She went on to lose the seat to Democrat Joe Cunningham within the normal election. Mace unseated Cunningham within the following election cycle.
As well as, Mace, who labored on Trump’s 2016 presidential marketing campaign, struck a careful balance in her criticism of Trump. Not like Rep. Tom Rice, one other Republican focused by Trump, in a district simply North of Mace’s, Mace didn’t vote to question Trump for his function in fomenting the U.S. Capitol riot. She did, nevertheless, vote to carry former Trump adviser Steve Bannon in contempt for refusing to testify earlier than Congress about his function within the violent occasion.
Mace benefited from the help of two senior Trump administration officers: Nikki Haley, former U.N. ambassador and South Carolina governor; and Mick Mulvaney, former Trump chief of workers and South Carolina congressman.
A leaked text-message trade between Arrington and Mulvaney in March, after Mulvaney endorsed Mace, contributed to a way that Arrington was a flawed candidate. In response to Arrington calling him a “piece of shit” and questioning whether or not Mulvaney’s Catholicism had made him a poor alternative for Trump administration envoy to Northern Eire, Mulvaney wrote, “You might want to notice that you just could be unstable.”