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CORRESPONDENT

Rep. Mace Rallies Trump Base, Wins GOP Primary Challenge in S.C.

John Gizzi By Wednesday, 12 June 2024 07:13 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

To the surprise of many South Carolina political observers, Rep. Nancy Mace not only avoided a run-off election in the Republican primary Tuesday but rolled up a handsome majority of the votes (57%) in the 1st District (Charleston) over former State Director of Labor Catherine Templeton (30%) and U.S. Marine veteran Bill Young (13%).

Faced with reports of heavy turnover in her congressional staff and an Ethics Committee investigation over receiving reimbursement of congressional expenses to which she was not entitled, two-termer Mace was targeted for extinction by former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

A Super PAC connected to McCarthy — whose ouster as speaker was supported by eight Republican members last year including Mace — contributed a six-figure amount to the South Carolina Patriots PAC, which in turn spent an estimated $2 million to unseat Mace.

But the embattled congresswoman had what is considered the gold standard in Republican primaries in the Palmetto State: the endorsement of Donald Trump. The former president went "three for three" in South Carolina, with Mace emerging triumphant in the 1st District, along with fellow incumbent Rep. Bill Timmons in the 4th District, and evangelist and political newcomer Mark Burns topping the field in the open 3rd District. (Burns and second-place finisher and Air National Guard Col. Sheri Biggs will square off in a run-off June 25).

A week before the voting, Mace also picked up the support of South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster. Sources close to the governor told Newsmax that he had seen a poll showing her within the grasp of an outright majority and felt he could help secure the nomination without a runoff.

Trump's blessing of Mace initially seemed like something of a surprise, given that she sharply criticized Trump for the Jan. 6 incident at the U.S. Capitol, and voted to hold Trump adviser Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress in 2022.

That same year, Trump endorsed her primary opponent and denounced Mace as an "absolutely terrible candidate." This year, Mace endorsed Trump's comeback for president and he returned the favor.

"And if you want to know why Trump's base in the 1st District rallied behind her, it can be answered in two words: George Stephanopoulos," said one seasoned conservative operative, referring to the host of ABC's "This Week" and his withering confrontation with Mace on March 11 (a day after she received Trump's endorsement).

Referring to the South Carolinian's disclosure that she had been raped more than 25 years earlier, Stephanopoulos asked how she could support Trump amid charges of sexual assault by several women going back to the 1990s.

"I'm not going to sit here on your show and be asked a question meant to shame me," Mace shot back. "You are shaming me!"

Speaking with NewsNation later, Mace said, "He was a little man standing there, this little troll, giving me the side-eye and being very ugly. His whole demeanor was nasty. That's what the far-left does."

Mace reminded viewers that Stephanopoulos "worked for the Clintons [in the White House] and there are a lot of accusations floating around, a lot of misogamy, and a lot of sexual harassment accusations. It's disgusting to see how he handled this entire episode."

That is clearly the kind of red meat response to the left that motivates the Trump base. And it clearly turned out for Nancy Mace.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


John-Gizzi
To the surprise of many, Rep. Nancy Mace not only avoided a run-off election in the Republican primary but rolled up a majority of the votes in the 1st District over former State Director of Labor Catherine Templeton and U.S. Marine veteran Bill Young.
mace, mccarthy, trump, south carolina, gop
576
2024-13-12
Wednesday, 12 June 2024 07:13 AM
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