In South Carolina’s 1st district, Representative Nancy Mace defeated a Republican primary rival sponsored by former President Donald Trump.
Despite her earlier criticism of Mr Trump and Mr Trump’s vehement opposition in reaction, Ms Mace defeated Katie Arrington on Tuesday evening. Ms Mace was elected to her first term in 2020, defeating Democratic incumbent Joe Cunningham.
Mr Cunningham defeated Ms Arrington in the 2018 election after Ms Arrington defeated incumbent Republican Representative Mark Sanford in the primary. Because of Mr Sanford’s constant critiques of Mr Trump, Mr Trump endorsed her that year as well.
Ms Mace was a part of Mr Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016. However, after the unrest on January 6, she openly chastised him, claiming that “his entire legacy was wiped out yesterday.” Despite this, she voted against impeachment and instead advocated for his censure. Last year, she also voted to have Steve Bannon held in contempt of Congress.
Mr Trump was persuaded, and he approved Ms Arrington’s challenge to her.
“Katie Arrington is running against an extraordinarily bad candidate, Congresswoman Nancy Mace, whose statements and attitude have been devastating for her town, and who is not at all typical of the Republican Party, to whom she has been very disloyal,” he said in an earlier statement.
Ms Mace retaliated by filming herself in front of Trump Tower in New York City. At a rally in Florence, though, Mr Trump criticised the footage.
“She went to New York and made a commercial indicating that I was endorsing her in front of the majestic Trump Tower – has anyone ever heard of Trump Tower?” he remarked. “She’s in front of Trump Tower in New York,” says the narrator. “Can you believe this?” I say. Like everything else she does, it was untruthful.”
During her first tenure, Ms Mace has chosen an unconventional approach. She got into a verbal spat with Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, one of Mr Trump’s most outspoken supporters in Congress, in December after Ms Greene accused her of being “pro-abortion.” Ms Mace, a rape survivor, responded by saying, “bless her f**king heart.”
“She’s a liar and a thief of the highest calibre. And I don’t tolerate it from either Democrats or Republicans, and I’ve been clear about that since the day I was elected, and I’m not going to put up with any of her nonsense, never have, never will,” Ms Mace said at the time.
Ms Mace, on the other hand, has been chastised for attempting to straddle the line on Covid-19 and vaccination, as she did when she lauded “natural immunity” on Fox News before promoting vaccination on CNN.
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According to FiveThirtyEight, the 1st district was originally a tossup, but redistricting made it overwhelmingly Republican.
Representative Tom Rice of the 7th district, who supported impeaching Mr Trump, was defeated in a Republican primary by a primary challenger. All we need is to check what next.