BLUFFTON, S.C. (WSAV) – South Carolina 1st District Congresswoman Nancy Mace has decided not to attend the inauguration on Wednesday.
She says that decision is based, in part, on the continued angry threats she’s gotten since she voted to certify the presidential election results on Jan. 6.
“I literally risked my life to take a vote a largely ceremonial vote to certify the Electoral College,” said Mace.”
“Not only was my life put in danger, but my staff, our office was put in danger because the only things that the only things standing between us and the violent rioters were the capitol hill police and they were outnumbered,” she said. “We were literally sitting ducks. I had to walk by a pipe bomb. I found out later I literally walked by a pipe bomb to get into my office. I had to go through a crime scene to go vote on the Electoral College certification.”
“I continue to receive threatening communications and I want to ensure a peaceful transition of power,” Mace continued. “I’ve been so outspoken and a strong voice a new voice for the Republican Party, I’ve unintentionally made myself a greater target as well.”
While the congresswoman has added extra security to her team, the threats and anger have not changed the way she feels about her office or the way she will vote in the future.
“It’s very important, to be honest with people, regardless of the outcome, regardless of the disagreement,” said the congresswoman. “The belief in the American experiment is that we have the ability to debate ideas and policies without being attacked.”
“Because I have continued to be attacked — because my life has been threatened — I feel its more important than ever that I stay strong, that I will be strong, and that I will be that new voice for the Republican Party,” Mace added. “We can’t be led by QAnon conspiracy theorists. Those people put us in a constitutional crisis on Jan. 6.”
The self-proclaimed “constitutional conservative” says she will continue doing her research on every issue, determining what is best for her constituents, and only then making a decision. She is not worried about radicals from any side of the aisle.
“I do believe people are afraid and some people vote because of that fear. I don’t operate out of fear in that regard with the way that I vote,” explained Mace. “I have had to take greater security measures at home and when I’m in D.C. or when I’m traveling. Those threats are real.”
“We have a problem in this country. The division is real. It is palpable, it is physical, it is violent,” said Mace. “Number two, we need to take responsibility for our words and our actions to discourage violence that is going on in our country as we speak right now. And three, we need to be part of the solution.”
“I really hope rhetoric is toned down on both sides of the aisle, less division and we start working together not against each other,” she said.
As someone who wants to be the new face of the Republican Party, Mace says her efforts to work with Democrats, not against them, are already paying dividends.
“I’ve had members who have been around a long time both on the Republican side and Democratic side of the aisle and even freshmen that have reached out and asked to work on policy with me.” explained the congresswoman. “They are truly fed up with what they have been seeing.”
Mace says she isn’t just talking about reaching across the aisle — she’s making it happen as a co-sponsor of a bipartisan bill that would award Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, who diverted many of the protestors away from the Senate chambers on Jan. 6, a Congressional Gold medal.