The primary races for South Carolina Reps. Nancy Mace and Tom Rice, both of whom have angered former President Donald Trump, depend more on how their constituents believe they're serving in office, Republican National Committee national spokesman Paris Dennard told Newsmax on Tuesday as the polls were opening.
"A lot of times we get caught up in endorsements," Dennard said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "We get caught up in what we think from national politics, but really, politics is local. That's a true phrase."
Trump is endorsing Mace's competition, former South Carolina lawmaker Katie Arrington, after the freshman incumbent from the state's First Congressional District spoke out against him and the Jan. 6 incidents at the Capitol, but did not vote to impeach him.
Rice, meanwhile, representing the state's Seventh Congressional District, is facing a challenge from Trump-endorsed state Rep. Russell Fry after voting for impeachment in connection with the Capitol events.
"I supported Donald Trump in both of his elections, and I supported him 94% of the time on the House floor," Rice said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Monday. "But that's not the question, it's not about policy. The question is: Should he be held accountable for his role in the riots on Jan. 6? And I think it's very clear: The answer is yes."
But Dennard told Newsmax that the voters will look at both Mace and Rice and ask if they did what they had promised and if they are voting "the way we want you to vote."
"Candidates and congressmen have to represent their districts, and they get voted out of office when they no longer have the trust and the faith of their constituents," said Dennard. "We're going to look at this race and see where the voters stand and how they believe that these members of Congress have held up to their obligation to do what's right."
Meanwhile, Republican turnout this primary season is much higher than usual, and Dennard said that's because the GOP voters are motivated not only by the quality of candidates who are seeking office, but by the contributing factors of the economy, inflation, gas prices, and the "lack of accountability" of the administration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
In primaries that have already been held, GOP turnout was up by 75% in Pennsylvania; 86% in North Carolina, and 96% in Georgia, compared to 2018, said Dennard.
Turnout is also growing among Hispanic and Black Americans, said Dennard, because "Republicans are offering a chance of hope, a chance for change, and they're not seeing that in the Democrat Congress, and they're not seeing that with the Democrat candidates, who are just going to be a rubber stamp for the radical Progressive liberal agenda of the Democrat Party."
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