[Office of Representative Nancy Mace, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons]

Kevin McCarthy Takes Another Loss

Somewhere in California, a man is crying, and that man is the former Speaker of the House.

On Tuesday, despite a huge effort from Kevin McCarthy and his allies, Republicans in South Carolina voted to keep Nancy Mace as their representative.  

The New York Times wrote that Kevin McCarthy took another devastating defeat, revealing that he’s already losing power among the GOP.

Representative Nancy Mace, Republican of South Carolina, on Tuesday defeated a well-funded primary challenger, putting her on track to win a third term. Her resounding victory also dealt a major blow to former Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s efforts to exact political retribution against those who voted to oust him.

Ms. Mace, 46, who once leaned center on social issues, won a Democratic seat in 2020 and claimed that all of former President Donald J. Trump’s accomplishments had been “wiped out” by his behavior on Jan. 6, 2021. But she has made a hard tack to the right over the past year as she has tried to game out her political future.

She was the unlikeliest of the eight rebel Republicans who voted to oust Mr. McCarthy last year, which transformed her from an ally into one of his top targets for revenge. Outside groups with ties to Mr. McCarthy, a California Republican, poured more than $4 million into backing her opponent, Catherine Templeton, and attacking Ms. Mace.

In the end, though, Ms. Mace won comfortably: With nearly all the vote in late Tuesday, she was leading by 27 percentage points. And she said Mr. McCarthy’s effort motivated her to work harder.

The South Carolina congresswoman has had a target on her back placed there by McCarthy allies. His allies spent “millions attacking Mace during the primary. The congresswoman and groups backing her painted chief opponent Catherine Templeton – a former South Carolina Cabinet official under Republican Gov. Nikki Haleyas a McCarthy puppet,” noted CNN.

This isn’t the first time that Mace has bucked the leaders of her party. “Mace has faced criticism for her evolving relationship with former President Donald Trump. After the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, Mace told CNN that Trump’s “entire legacy was wiped out” that day. In the run-up to the 2022 midterm elections, Trump backed her primary opponent Katie Arrington. Among Mace’s chief backers in that primary was Haley, who campaigned with Mace and appeared in a TV ad on her behalf. Mace went on to defeat Arrington by 8 points.

Two years later, Mace endorsed Trump over Haley ahead of South Carolina’s Republican presidential primary. The former president endorsed Mace in March, calling her a “strong conservative voice.”

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