South Carolina's 1st Congressional District was one of the key races to watch on Tuesday, as Rep. Nancy Mace won in a fiery primary against Trump-endorsed insurgent Katie Arrington.
Supporters and opponents of Donald Trump agree the victory comes as a blow to the former president's robust endorsement record.
Trump touted Arrington as the best candidate for the job. This is in large part due to Mace – who opposed impeachment of Trump and creation of the Jan. 6 Commission – criticizing the then-president's actions during the 2020 presidential election and Jan. 6 Capitol breach.
On Jan. 7, Mace claimed to CNN that Trump's "entire legacy was wiped out yesterday."
"Mace walked the very fine line between support and complete fealty," South Carolina political consultant Chip Felkel told Newsmax.
While first-termer Mace failed to get Trump's support, she had strong backing from one of the Palmetto State's political juggernauts: former Gov. and former United Nations ambassador, Nikki Haley.
Haley, a likely 2024 presidential candidate, has herself not been her former boss' favorite person at all times. Like Mace, the former ambassador called out the then-president in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol breach and walks the line between being a Trump supporter and Trump dissenter.
Also weighing in for Mace was former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, himself a past South Carolina congressman.
With a war chest of $1,438,246.59 on hand (reported by the Federal Election Commission on May 25), Mace had more than double the amount that Arrington boasted: $606,986.66 on hand.
Both Arrington and Mace are well-known in the district. The two ran against former congressman Joe Cunningham – Arrington in a failed bid in 2018 and Mace unseating the congressman in 2020. In this primary, Mace garnered over the 50% that is necessary to prevent a runoff.
According to the South Carolina Election Commission, Mace boasted just over 53% of the vote to Arrington's 45%.
Interestingly enough, the results reveal that five of the six counties fell within two extremes: a county either maintained a small margin between the two, or gave a landslide to Mace or Arrington.
In both Charleston County and Colleton County, for example, Mace won with over 60% of the vote.
But in Jasper County – newly added to the district thanks to redistricting – Arrington secured over 60% of the vote.
Dorchester and Berkeley Counties were neck and neck with each candidate just below or above 50% .
Beaufort County was the single outlier. The county almost perfectly resembled the overall results of the district. Mace amassed just over 53.6% of the vote compared to Arrington's 46.4%.
Mace will face Dr. Annie Andrews in the general election in November. As for her former opponent, Cunningham – he will battle it out with Gov. Henry McMaster in hopes of ousting the current governor.
Micah Hart, a Newsmax intern, is studying politics and journalism at Hillsdale College in Michigan.
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