My news outlet has written frequently about the potential problems facing incumbent GOP congresswoman Nancy Mace in next spring’s Republican congressional primary election. Or, more specifically, about Mace’s actual problem when it comes to former U.S. president Donald Trump.
The forty-fifth president is not a fan of the 43-year-old first-term congresswoman – but so far he and his allies have yet to recruit a top tier GOP challenger against her in the Palmetto State’s first congressional district.
And so far, Mace has been raising big dollars on the campaign trail … which will make it harder for any Trump-backed rival to gain traction against her.
“Anyone looking to defeat her must raise enough cash to at least achieve financial parity, a task which would appear to be growing more difficult by the day,” I noted last month.
Annie Andrews – a pediatrician from Mount Pleasant, S.C. – is running for the Democratic congressional nomination for the first district, which briefly “swung blue” in the 2018 election when lobbyist/ “ocean engineer” Joe Cunningham edged GOP nominee Katie Arrington.
Mace reclaimed this district for the GOP last fall when she defeated Cunningham in a similarly close election.
Andrews – an anti-Second Amendment advocate – works for the government-subsidized Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), an entity which is controversially competing against private sector health care providers.
Sound familiar? It should … in South Carolina, this is the rule rather than the exception, sadly. With costly consequences for citizens and taxpayers …
“I’ve been disappointed in the politicians in Washington including my congresswoman, Nancy Mace,” Andrews told Novelly. “I feel like she’s on national TV, frequently, but she’s not talking about these issues that are affecting people in our district. She seems to be more interested in being famous than being effective.”
Like Cunningham, Andrews is a Kentucky native. And like Cunningham, her candidacy will be managed by Democratic strategist Tyler Jones – who according to Novelly “made history” in 2018 when Cunningham defeated Arrington.
Indeed, Novelly’s coverage of Andrews’ announcement was definitional fluff … as was a piece published the following day by reporter Caitlin Byrd of The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper.
According to Byrd, Andrews took in more than $200,000 during her first twenty-four hours as a congressional candidate, “a haul that gives (her) a formidable fundraising debut as she seeks her party’s nomination.”
“Andrews raised more money in the first 24 hours of launching her congressional campaign than Democrat Joe Cunningham did in his entire first-quarter fundraising haul when he first ran for the same seat three years ago,” Byrd breathlessly noted, citing no source other than Andrews’ own campaign organization.
Byrd also quoted Andrews taking another jab at Mace.
“Unlike our current representative,” Andrews said, “I’m not interested in being famous or climbing the political ladder.”
Is that a valid criticism? Probably … but it is also probably worth taking a closer look at that $200,000 number her campaign is touting.
(Click to view)
Let’s assume, for the moment, Andrews (above) really has raised $200,000 for her congressional bid. I am not saying she hasn’t, but I’d have asked her campaign to provide some receipts prior to printing it. And in reviewing those provided receipts, I’d have asked a couple key questions …
First … are these actual checks or pledges from donors to send checks? Because there is (obviously) a big difference.
Also … when were these checks and pledges actually solicited?
Because I would be willing to bet all of this didn’t just happen over the last twenty-four hours.
A common trick employed by political campaigns is to manufacture momentum by publishing a big early fundraising number accompanied by an announcement that so-and-so raised (insert impressive number) within their first twenty-four hours as a candidate. Never mind that these campaigns probably spent weeks – if not months – lining up those contributions.
Still, mainstream media falls for it every time … especially if they are covering candidates which conform to their increasingly transparent ideological leanings.
Make no mistake: I believe Andrews will be a credible contender for this seat. And I have no doubt that when she files her initial campaign finance disclosure forms with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that this document will show an impressive early haul.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, people … especially seeing as the GOP will have an opportunity to redraw this seat (with Democratic “help,” of course) heading into what is shaping up as a likely red wave election cycle.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, in addition to having lots of kids he has LOTS of hats (including that Minnesota Twins’ lid pictured above).
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