COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Republican U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina has won reelection, defeating Democratic challenger Annie Andrews to retain her 1st Congressional district seat for the GOP.
“This was huge,” Mace told WSAV. “It goes to show where people, the direction the country is headed is the wrong direction and they want leadership in this country right now, and I promise to be an independent voice and I’ve made good on that promise and that’s what voters wanted tonight.”
The district representing Charleston and neighboring rural counties had seesawed in recent years between Democrats and Republicans. But Mace came out ahead of a contested Republican primary that become somewhat of a referendum on former President Donald Trump’s influence after he had endorsed her primary opponent.
Her general election challenger, Andrews, is a pediatrician who supports access to abortions in the red state and increased firearms restrictions to help fight an alarming wave of U.S. gun violence. But national unease with inflation made for unfriendly headwinds for Democrats in South Carolina and elsewhere under the incumbent President Joe Biden.
The battles for major party control of the 1st Congressional District date to 2018. Democrat Joe Cunningham, who ran unsuccessfully for governor on Tuesday, had won the 1st District seat in 2018 before losing to Mace in the ensuing election.