By MEG KINNARD – Associated Press
COLUMBIA, SC (AP) — U.S. Representative Nancy Mace is beefing up her campaign coffers in an effort to avoid GOP challenger Katie Arrington in the final days of the Republican primary race for South Carolina’s 1st District.
Rookie Mace has consistently led the contest for dollars in the 1st congressional district, which she picked up from Democrats in 2020. Mace has received more than $4.1 million in contributions through the May 25 deadline. for pre-primary fundraising reports, and has $1.4 million on hand.
Pre-primary receipts for Arrington, a former state lawmaker who also sought the seat in 2018, were more than $909,000, according to federal filings. More than half of that came from a $525,000 personal loan, and Arrington had $607,000 on hand as of May 25.
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As they vie for the nomination of their party, the two women pleaded their case to voters who are still wondering which of them to choose or who are already voting. Early voting in South Carolina has been underway since May 31, and more than 28,000 people have already voted in the primaries overall, according to state officials.
Arrington, who went to work at the Department of Defense after its 2018 defeat, has widely portrayed herself as a “servant leader” loyal to former President Donald Trump, who supports his current candidacy. Trump backed Mace in 2020, but soured after the freshman congresswoman’s critical statements about Trump’s role in the Capitol violence. The former president campaigned for Arrington this spring and reiterated his support for her last month.
To kick off the only debate of the GOP primary, third candidate Lynz Piper-Loomis also threw her support behind Arrington, removed her microphone and left the debate stage, reducing the contest to a one-on-one match. .
Additionally, Arrington is backed by Ric Grenell, who served as Trump’s ambassador to Germany. Breaking with his delegation member Mace, U.S. Representative Joe Wilson endorsed Arrington, who he said would be “a tireless advocate for our veterans and the military.”
Alongside groups such as the National Rifle Association and the Club for Growth, Mace is supported by former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who also served as Trump’s ambassador to the UN and helped Mace raise $300. $000 at an event earlier this year. Mace also enjoys the support of Mick Mulvaney, who served as Trump’s chief of staff, budget director and special envoy to Northern Ireland, as well as GOP congressional leaders including US Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Whip of American minority Steve Scalise.
New Mace TV ad questions whether voters can ‘trust Katie Arrington to keep America safe’, highlighting suspension of Arrington’s security clearance amid Pentagon probe into disclosure classified information.
Arrington took issue with Mace’s characterization of the clearance problem, arguing that she was politically targeted as a Trump supporter after President Joe Biden’s Democratic administration took over the Pentagon.
Another new spot from a Mace-supporting political action committee points to Arrington’s support for South Carolina’s 2017 gas tax overhaul — a phased increase aimed at fixing roads and bridges in ruin of the state – during her sole term as state legislator.
A recent ad from Arrington featured voters — as customers — seeking a “refund” on their choice of Mace because she “turned her back” on Trump, among other characterizations.
The winner of the GOP contest will face Dr. Annie Andrews in the general election.
With no primary opposition, Democrat Andrews was able to continue fundraising — more than $920,000, with more than $568,000 on hand at the time of pre-primary federal filings — and let the GOP contenders stand. quarrel.
Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP.
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