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Rep. Nancy Mace says her impressive fundraising haul the past three months is a “testament to me just getting out there and working hard like I always have.”
The first-term Republican representative in South Carolina’s swingy First Congressional District who’s facing a GOP challenge from a candidate backed by former President Donald Trump as she runs for reelection brought in $1.17 million during the January-March first quarter of fundraising this year.
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“I don’t mess around,” Mace told Fox News on Wednesday. “I know going into a midterm election when we lost this seat in 2018., to ensure that we keep it in Republican hands we’ve got to have someone who’s willing to do the work to keep it and that means you’ve got fundraise and raise the money necessary not only to win in the primary but in the general election.”
The candidate’s campaign said that the haul the past three months came from 25,000 donors, and that they had $2.3 million cash on hand at the end of March. And Mace’s first quarter total brings her overall fundraising this cycle to $4.2 million.
“I raised $6 million for this race in 2020 and we’re on track to raise far more than that this cycle. This is a swing district and I take serving seriously and take having the right campaign apparatus to make sure the Republicans get a majority this cycle, I take that responsibility very seriously as well and that means you’ve got to raise.”
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Mace was one of the earliest supporters of Trump’s successful 2016 campaign to win the White House. And the freshman House lawmaker didn’t vote to impeach Trump 15 months ago for inciting the deadly Jan. 6, 2021 storming of the U.S. Capitol by right wing extremists and other Trump supporters who aimed to disrupt congressional certification of now-President Biden’s 2020 election victory.
But Mace did publicly say that his rhetoric leading up to the storming of the Capitol “put all of our lives at risk.”
And in October, Mace was the lone South Carolina Republican to join congressional Democrats in voting to hold former Trump White House senior aide Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena issued by the House select committee investigating the riot at the Capitol.
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The former president in early February backed former state lawmaker Katie Arrington as she launched a primary challenge against Mace. Trump blasted Mace and praised Arrington at a rally in South Carolina last month.
Mace, in a video she recorded in February in front of Trump Tower in New York City and posted to social media, highlighted her support for the former president and argued that Democrats would likely recapture South Carolina’s coastal-based district if the Trump-backed Arrington wins the June GOP primary.
The district was represented for much of the last decade by former Republican Gov. Mark Sanford. Arrington, with Trump’s support, challenged and defeated Sanford in the 2018 GOP primary. But she lost the general election by a razor-thin margin to Democrat Joe Cunningham. Two years later, in 2020, Mace narrowly edged Cunningham as the GOP flipped the seat back from blue to red.
Asked if Trump’s support of Arrington boosted her own fundraising, Mace demurred. But she did note that she brought in the bulk of her first quarter haul after Trump endorsed Arrington.
“I think he’s gotten bad advice and that’s problematic,” Mace said of Trump’s backing of Arrington.
Arrington raised money surrounding Trump’s rally, which she attended and addressed the large crowd. But on the eve of the rally, Mace held a lucrative fundraiser in Charleston that was headlined by former two-term South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who served as Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations.
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Arrington, who has yet to announce her first quarter figures, is one of four Republican candidates challenging Mace in the June 14 GOP primary.
Pointing to her primary rivals, Mace charged “my guess is they’re not doing the work necessary to win.”