OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Republican Rep. Nancy Mace has won the GOP primary in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District.
Mace, who criticized former President Donald Trump after the incident at the U.S. Capitol last year, has defeated Trump-backed former state representative Katie Arrington.
I've seen enough: Rep. Nancy Mace (R) defeats Trump-endorsed Katie Arrington (R) in the #SC01 GOP primary.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) June 15, 2022
— The Election Center (@ElectionCenter_) June 15, 2022
Mace voted to certify the 2020 election, but she did not vote to impeach Trump or join the 35 Republicans to vote for an independent bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 incident at the Capitol.
Trump endorsed Mace’s opponent Katie Arrington earlier this year, who lost to Cunningham in 2018 while campaigning for the House.
One day after Trump endorsed Arrington, Mace tweeted a video of herself in front of Trump Tower in New York City and touted her past work for the former president during his first campaign.
“I supported him again because of policies I believed in,” she said, adding that Arrington would only put the seat at risk of falling back into Democratic hands.
“I’m gonna win without him,” Mace told CNN in an interview.
Mace defended the video at the time, saying that “if you call it groveling, I would say you didn’t watch the video.”
— Nancy Mace (@NancyMace) February 10, 2022
Mace’s video didn’t help her case.
Trump has lambasted her as “a woman who is just not with us,” and lumped her in with other Republicans who he has attacked.
“She represents phony, fake Republicans like [Wyoming Rep.] Liz Cheney, [Utah Sen.] Mitt Romney, [Illinois Rep.] Adam Kinzinger, and, again, Paul Ryan,” he said during his June 9 telephone rally for Arrington and Fry. “All people that you don’t want representing you, they’re with her.”
Mace went viral last summer after she obtained a concealed carry permit for South Carolina after her home was vandalized.
She said legally obtaining a firearm was “one of the most empowering things I have done” while saying that she is teaching her children gun safety and adding, “They know how to handle a firearm if they ever are near one.”
On Memorial Day, police informed Mace that her home in Charleston had been vandalized with graffiti and anarchist symbols.” Police are still investigating, but the graffiti is gone now. Statements including ‘F*** you Nancy,” and ‘all politicians are bastards,’ were scrubbed away by crews the day it happened,” Fox News reported.
Mace told Fox News that she had obtained a concealed carry permit for South Carolina at the end of 2020 based on threats against her life.
“I am in the process of getting my concealed carry permit for D.C. I want to make sure I follow all the laws, but I’m not going to be put in a position where I can’t defend myself. And we’ve seen political violence increasing over the last year to a year and a half. And I want to make sure that I can defend myself and my family and my values and the things that I believe in,” she said last summer.
“And so for me, wherever I go in South Carolina and I am allowed to carry, I have a firearm on my person, always carrying. And I have to tell you, as a mom, as a single mom, it’s one of the most empowering things I have done. I’ve also had an opportunity to teach my kids about gun safety. I think that’s really important so they’re not afraid. They know how to handle a firearm if they ever are near one. I think those things are really extremely important,” Mace added.
Mace told Fox News, “I now go to the gun range, almost weekly, to practice shooting. … When they show up to your house and physically try to destroy it with graffiti, it’s personal and it’s invasive and it’s violating. … They also spray-painted, ‘No gods, no masters, all politicians are bastards.’”
“It doesn’t feel good that I feel like I have to look across, look behind my shoulder every day. It doesn’t feel safe,” she said. “I carry a gun wherever I go today, wherever I’m allowed to, I do carry.”
“When this happened, it really changed everything for me,” she recalled. “I’m not going to live in fear; I’m not going to be intimidated; and to be able to carry a gun wherever I go, for me as a woman, I think it’s one of the most empowering things that you can do to defend yourself.”
“I think we’ve got to use all the tools that we can to be successful in this country and I feel liberated by the ability to carry a gun now. It’s liberating but also it’s empowering for me to be able to know that I can defend myself no matter what,” she concluded.