We’ve arrived at the endorsement everyone expected us to make … just not via the expected avenue.

When Lowcountry businesswoman Nancy Mace announced her intention to run for the U.S. Senate last year, many expected this website to engage in the relentless promotion of her candidacy. After all she was a partner in this little new media venture of ours, and her marketing expertise was an integral component of FITSNews’ early success.

We didn’t do that though … because Mace’s campaign frankly hasn’t exactly been deserving of relentless promotion. Or any sort of promotion.

When Mace bumbled her first round of prime time interviews, we called her out on it. And we’ve been consistently less than impressed with Mace’s cautious, confrontation-averse brand of campaigning – in which her kitchen cabinet viewed the drawing of any sort of legitimate contrast with other “Republicans” as synonymous with negative campaign.

Rookie mistakes … of which Mace has made plenty.

Hell, on vacation this week in Pawleys Island our founding editor texted to inform us that one of Mace’s far too sparsely placed yard signs made no mention of the office she was seeking.

Turns out it’s actually there … the lettering is just way to small to pick up.

That in a nutshell has been Mace’s campaign: There, but barely.

Mace the political candidate has been a far cry from Mace the badass business executive – or Mace the first female graduate of The Citadel, South Carolina’s formerly all-male military college. She’s been fragile, timid … self-doubting.

And all of that has added up to costly hesitations … both in big picture strategic moves and in the thousands of rapid fire exchanges that take place on the campaign trail.

So … why are we endorsing Mace? Is it because we hate incumbent “Republican” Lindsey Graham that much? Or because we feel some sort of loyalty to her that compels us to do so?

No. That’s not how we roll.

We are endorsing Nancy Mace’s U.S. Senate bid because of the six GOP candidates seeking the nomination this week, we honestly believe she would best represent the interests of U.S. citizens and taxpayers on the fundamental tax, spending and liberty issues that will determine whether America recaptures its former glory or continues its breakneck descent toward the ash heap of history.

And while Mace’s campaign has been a sorry and forgettable experiment, its oft-repeated mantra – “to change Washington we must change who we send to Washington” – is true. It finds capable expression in the candidate, if not the bid she mounted this go-round.

Mace is a hard-charging, take no prisoners businesswoman. We know this because we’ve been on both sides of the negotiating table with her. She is also a hard-working mother of two who managed to maintain a carpool schedule amidst a statewide political bid.

Yeah … those cute kids in her campaign commercials? She didn’t abandon them over the last year – she continued to be their mom (even when it meant passing on political events she probably should have attended).

That’s an actual “sacrifice” – as opposed to the political definition of the word.

Mace is also the only “anti-Graham” candidate in the field who didn’t attempt to pander to the lowest common denominator over the past few months – even though we wish we had seen more in the way of substantive offerings from her.

S.C. Senator Lee Bright? We appreciate his voting record in the State Senate, but on the campaign trail he’s been nothing but a pandering demagogue – and a hypocrite given his downright disastrous personal financial history. Bright’s business background is such a shambles it renders him totally incapable of advancing the budget issues that must be addressed in our nation’s capital – yet there he is talking about fiscal responsibility at every turn.

Sheesh. That Bright emerged as the “Tea Party favorite” in this race is a testament to the intellectual bankruptcy of the Tea Party movement in South Carolina.

But we knew that already …

Upstate businessman Richard Cash? He seems like a nice enough guy, but like Bright his hard core social conservative views make him unelectable in November.

Columbia, S.C. pastor Det Bowers? Again, a nice enough guy but far too sanctimonious for our taste … and the tastes of independent voters desperate for an alternative to the two-party status quo.

Afghan war veteran Bill Connor? Yeah … no. We’ve already got a raging “neo-conservative” in this seat. We don’t need to elect another warmonger.

That leaves Mace …

We fully expect Lindsey Graham’s mountain of special interest money to purchase him a first-ballot victory this week. South Carolina voters are simply too impressionable to make reasoned decisions – especially seeing as none of Graham’s opponents raised enough money to expose him for the fraud he is.

Also the state’s mainstream media – most notably The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper – keep conditioning them to believe that government is at its best when bipartisan establishment whores like Graham are “reaching across the aisle” and “getting things done.”

But if “Republicans” who see through that liberal spin are serious about defeating Graham, they will cast their votes for Mace … even if she didn’t necessarily earn them.