SC1: Nancy Mace Lands Another Big Endorsement

Frontrunner status solidified …

She hasn’t won over former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley (yet), but South Carolina state representative Nancy Mace landed another big endorsement this week in her quest to become the first Republican congresswoman in South Carolina history.

Mace announced that she had received the backing of “Republican” minority leader Kevin McCarthy of California in her campaign to take on incumbent Democrat Joe Cunningham in November.

“Nancy Mace is a uniquely impressive candidate and I proudly endorse her for congress,” McCarthy said. “Her deep local roots and impressive life story makes her the ideal leader to represent the great people of South Carolina’s first district.” 

He also praised her “tireless work ethic, conservative track record and ability to get things done.”

While McCarthy’s support is unlike to move the needle in terms of popular opinion in the first district, it matters a great deal in terms of political momentum. Specifically, it sends yet another signal that Mace is the clear frontrunner in the four-way Republican race for this seat – which Cunningham captured in November 2018 after it had been in GOP hands for nearly four decades.

(Click to view)

(Via: @GOPLeader)

McCarthy’s announcement that he would help Mace raise money is significant, too … especially considering the huge lead she has already opened on her rivals on this critical front.

National Republicans have made reclaiming the first district their top priority, and McCarthy’s endorsement of Mace is the latest reminder of the extent to which interests outside of the district are trying to shape the trajectory of this race (and the views of voters within the district).

The most prominent example of this trend at work? The millions of dollars liberal interests have spent to shore up Cunningham’s position … money which we believe figured prominently in his decision to go along with national Democrats’ impeachment efforts.

Ironically, this liberal money is being spent on advertisements seeking to portray Cunningham as a moderate – a perception which has been bolstered by the surprising backing the Democrat has received from GOP politicians and “conservative” advocacy groups like Americans for Prosperity (AFP).

(Click to view)

(Via: Nancy Mace for Congress)

Running against Mace (above) in the GOP primary are Mount Pleasant, S.C. town councilwoman Kathy Landing, Beaufort county councilman Michael Covert and “Bikers for Trump” founder Chris Cox of Mount Pleasant.

Covert and Cox have been aggressive in attacking Mace, while Landing – the only candidate who has come close to competing with the frontrunner financially – has largely held her fire.

This week, Cox told a gathering of Charleston Republicans that he single-handedly kept U.S. president Donald Trump from endorsing Mace in the first district race – a claim we find laughable. Mace was one of Trump’s first staffers in the 2016 “First in the South” presidential primary – and went on to do work for his campaign across the country.

Our guess is his endorsement of her candidacy is a done deal …

Covert has been more pointed in his criticisms, per our sources in the Lowcountry … and more personal.

Mace, 42, won a special election to the S.C. House of Representatives in January 2018 – defeating Democrat Cindy Boatwright. Ten months later, she shredded another Democrat, Jen Gibson, to win a full, two-year term.

Mace is giving up her seat in the S.C. House to run for congress …

Stay tuned … given Mace’s commanding lead over the GOP field this race has been substantially less-than-enthralling over the last few months.

Filing for the first district formally opens on March 16, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. EDT. It closes two weeks later – on March 30 – at the same time. Partisan primary elections are scheduled for June 9, 2020 – with runoff elections scheduled for June 23, 2020, if necessary (if no candidate receives a majority of votes in a partisan primary election in South Carolina, the two top vote-getters advance to a head-to-head matchup two weeks later).

Once major party nominees are selected (and any petition candidates are certified), the general election is scheduled to take place on November 3, 2020.




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Banner: Sam Holland/ S.C. House of Representatives

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