Nancy Mace
SC Politics

Guest Column: Unchastened, Nancy Mace Wins Again

“Raw authenticity …”

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by CARLTON HUFFMAN

There is something special in the political world about watching a friend succeed. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Nancy Mace for over a decade – as an aspiring office seeker, out of office, in office, in favor with DC, out of favor with DC, defeated in a primary, and once again successful in a primary. Introduced to her first by this website I met her in 2013 when she was planning to challenge Senator Lindsey Graham. While a decade can certainly refine someone through trials and tribulations, I can testify that Nancy remains fundamentally the same person that she was then.

And that raw authenticity is why the GOP primary voters of South Carolina’s first district nominated her for a third time …

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Living life authentically both attracts and retains friends while also enraging your foes. Nancy Mace has in her time as a state legislator and member of congress carved out a niche that matches her instincts and confounds those wishing their elected officials came and stayed in a box. Nancy’s personally conservative but libertarian leaning instincts are the perfect fit for the first district – while also frustrating for the most tribal individuals in the LowCountry and in DC. Those instincts made her vote to oust Kevin McCarthy both stunning but not surprising. It also invited the greatest challenge of her professional career – and at a time when her personal life was also under duress.

The October 3, 2023 vote that ended Kevin McCarthy’s Speakership was a long time in coming. Political animal that he is, McCarthy is as inauthentic as Nancy is authentic. His lies and chameleon-like governance landed him on the bad side of everyone from Liz Cheney to Matt Gaetz.

Like too many in Washington, McCarthy expected the currency of favors and campaign cash to buy him the loyalty of those he doled out to. Those checks bounced in epic fashion as McCarthy became the first and only speaker to have the gavel taken from him in American history.

To have his “precious” taken from him in so humiliating a fashion led McCarthy to embark on a revenge tour, with Nancy at the top of his list.

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Throughout her life, Nancy has not done things the easy way and this 2024 primary was no different. Voting for McCarthy would have spared her having over $6 million spent against her by his establishment allies. It would’ve also kept her from having Catherine Templeton and her acolytes spread lies about Nancy’s stances on the border – and her character at large.

We saw Catherine reprise her 2018 role as being unlikeable for pretending to be something she’s not. This helped make Tuesday night’s result all too sweet for those who want a member of congress who is both a good person and true to themselves.

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“2026 could open statewide doors to consider.”

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Tuesday’s primary victory, Nancy’s third, is likely the final nail in the coffin for those hoping to oust her in a primary. Short of the district being judicially redrawn – which is unlikely given the recent SCOTUS ruling on South Carolina’s maps – it is hard to envision an individual or group of individuals taking her down.

Nancy has won as a non-incumbent, running against a Trump-backed challenger with the favor of McCarthy’s money, and endorsed by Trump while out of favor with McCarthy’s money. In short, she’s there to stay if she likes for the remainder of this decade.

Or, as Joe Cunningham’s 2018 victory opened the door for Nancy to take this shot, 2026 could open statewide doors to consider. And I’ll be cheering her on all the way.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Carlton Huffman is a native of the other Carolina. He was worked on campaigns throughout the Southeast and Wisconsin. He’s also had the good fortune to work or volunteer on every one of Nancy Mace’s campaigns.

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5 comments

NotFromHamptonCounty Top fan June 14, 2024 at 11:35 am

She is as good of a retail politician as I have seen.

Reply
CongareeCatfish Top fan June 14, 2024 at 12:56 pm

There was never a better political wind sock than Nancy Mace. I just want to see how she pulls off the mother of all houdini moves of still being accepted in MAGA-land after voting to send Steve Bannon to prison for contempt of Congress. I would honestly fear him more than Mr. Mushyloafers McCarthy. But had she ran against Senator Warhawk McSparklepants, I’d have voted for her.

Reply
Amanda Williams Top fan June 15, 2024 at 10:29 am

Vey impressed with Nancy Mace. Will continue to support her and I agree – she is authentic – great article.

Reply
jbl1a June 16, 2024 at 6:54 am

Do you seriously believe all that b.s. you just spewed? Mace has shown she will waffle where the winds blow. Her masks and vaccine statement have shown her true nature. Maybe she should just stay in bed with her ugh, “partner”. She is just another symptom of what is wrong in Congress and our nation.

Reply
Lord Barfington June 17, 2024 at 1:14 pm

She appears to have some kind of deep-seated psychological problem. Histrionic personality disorder?

Reply

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