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McCarthy Ouster Nancy Mace Survives Primary Challenge

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) was one of eight Republicans to side with all Democrats in ousting now former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) last October. As a result, she was something of a target among her fellow Republicans, though she still managed to emerge victorious in Tuesday's primary against Catherine Templeton.


A little after 8pm, just over an hour after the polls closed, Mace was declared the winner by Decision Desk HQ.

As the Associated Press reported about the race last week:

In April, McCarthy’s political action committee, Majority Committee PAC or “MC PAC,” made a $10,000 contribution to Mace’s primary opponent, Catherine Templeton, the former director of the state’s labor agency under then-Gov. Nikki Haley. A separate committee, American Prosperity Alliance, where a McCarthy ally serves as a senior adviser, has made contributions to a group called South Carolina Patriots PAC, which has spent more than $2.1 million to defeat Mace. American Prosperity Alliance has also made contributions to a group called the America Fund, which is one of the South Carolina Patriots PAC’s principal donors.

McCarthy backed Mace as recently as her 2022 reelection bid, but the relationship deteriorated quickly since the Speaker vote. McCarthy told reporters in February that he hopes Mace “gets the help to straighten out her life. She’s got a lot of challenges.” Mace responded in a fundraising video that McCarthy “lied to the American people” and that he is “a loser.” She has described Templeton as McCarthy’s “puppet.”

In addition to McCarthy, Templeton’s other supporters include former Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Joe Wilson of the nearby 2nd Congressional District. Mace has the backing of former President Donald Trump and current Speaker Mike Johnson.


Mace, who was first elected in 2020 when she beat now former Rep. Joe Cunningham, then the Democratic incumbent, also survived a primary challenge in 2022 against Katie Arrington, though it looks like she'll survive by even stronger numbers this time. 

Back in November 2021, former and potentially future President Donald Trump called on primary challengers for 10 Republicans, with Mace being included among them. For this race, however, she had Trump's support this time, a detail she was all too proud to tout over social media in what is still a pinned post to her political X account.

Mace is almost certainly going to be reelected once more come November, as Cook Political Report late last month moved the race to the "Solid Republican" category after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld maps drawn up after redistricting. Other forecasters also regard the race as "Solid Republican" or "Likely Republican."

McCarthy allies have been trying to take down more of his ousters, and they'll have their chance in Virginia next week as Rep. Bob Good faces state Sen. John McGuire, with the latter having Trump's backing. Another ouster, now former Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado, resigned in March


With an estimated 77 percent of the vote reporting, Mace enjoys 57.4 percent of the vote to Templeton's 28.9 percent. Another primary challenger, Bill Young, has 13.7 percent support.

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