Congresswoman-elect Nancy Mace's (R-SC) arrival in Washington, D.C., was 42 years in the making, she revealed in a Twitter video on Friday. She flipped SC-01 red last week after her upset win over Democratic Rep. Joe Cunningham in a race that had been declared a "toss-up." Mace is participating in freshman orientation this week on Capitol Hill, and she took the opportunity to share a bit about her humble beginnings.
As she admits in the video, she couldn't help but get a bit emotional as her plane touched down in the nation's capital.
"I'm overwhelmed with a positive emotion on the great responsibility ahead," she shared. "Very thankful, grateful and humbled by the voters that sent me here."
She considered how far she'd come. From dropping out of school at the age of 17, to her first job as a waitress at the Waffle House, to becoming the Citadel's first female cadet graduate. During her studies at the military college in Charleston, S.C., she also received the gold star for academic achievement.
As you'll read from this 1999 New York Times article announcing her graduation, Mace was humbled by that achievement as well.
Ms. Mace's role in the graduation ceremony was understated. Her name was mentioned only once, as she walked across the stage to receive her diploma from her father, who is also a Citadel graduate. Her brief appearance was greeted with long applause from many in the audience and smiles from her family as she raised her diploma in triumph.
Following the ceremony, Ms. Mace played down her role in eliminating barriers at the college.
''The changes have not been made because of women, but to improve the system,'' she told reporters.
"This girl from Goose Creek had a dream and it came true through so much hard work and blood, sweat and tears and through help from thousands of people across the district, across South Carolina, across the country to make this girl's dream a reality," Mace said on Capitol Hill on Friday.
Mace was part of a Pink Wave of Republican women winning congressional races this year.
House GOP adding 11 new women #CO03 Lauren Boebert #FL03 Kat Cammack #FL27 Maria Elvira Salazar #GA14 Marjorie Taylor Greene#IL15 Mary Miller#MI10 Lisa McClain #MN07 Michelle Fischbach #NM02 Yvettte Herrell #OK05 Stephanie Bice #SC01 Nancy Mace #TN01 Diana Harshbarger— Kirk A. Bado (@kirk_bado) November 4, 2020
Welcome to Washington, congresswoman-elect.