Arrington announcement aims to create contrast between South Carolina and Mace


FILE – Republican Nancy Mace talks to supporters on her election night Nov. 3, 2020, in Mount Pleasant SC Mace is set to meet two GOP challengers on the debate stage, Monday, May 23, 2022, who are seeking to oust her of South Carolina’s 1st congressional district. (AP Photo/Mic Smith, File)


A Trump-backed Republican challenger hit the South Carolina coastal airwaves with a “six-figure” digital and TV ad buy seeking to contrast with incumbent Rep. Nancy Mace.

Katie Arrington’s 30-second spot, provided to The Associated Press ahead of its release, features voters – as customers – seeking ‘reimbursement’ on their choice of Mace because ‘she turned her back’ on the former President Donald Trump, among other characterizations.

In the final weeks of one of the most watched Republican congressional primaries of the year, the ad – aired in a combined buyout on broadcast, cable and digital platform, according to the Arrington campaign – is the first in the race to directly oppose the two candidates. Arrington’s other spots focused on promoting his endorsement by Trump.

In Mace’s first ad – which is also part of a combined six-figure TV and digital buy – the congresswoman promoted her support for the construction of the US-Mexico border wall, one of Trump’s signature projects . Another spot featured his endorsement of former Governor Nikki Haley, who served as Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations.

The former president has been prominent in the race since November, when he nominated Mace from a slate of incumbent Republicans against whom he was seeking challengers.

Mace secured her victory in 2020 as South Carolina’s first Republican woman elected to Congress with Trump’s backing, but drew his ire by voting to certify the election of President Joe Biden and making frequent appearances at the television blaming Trump for the January 6 insurrection.

In February, Trump formally endorsed Arrington — whom he had also backed in his unsuccessful 2018 campaign for the seat — and campaigned for her a month later.

Mace’s first-quarter fundraising was significantly ahead of Arrington’s, though it’s unclear exactly how much each campaign has raised since late March. Last month, Mace told AP she had raised a total of about $4.2 million during this campaign cycle.

Arrington, who entered the race in February, said she took in $807,000 in the first quarter of this year, but most of that – $500,000 – came in the form of a personal loan from her. -same.

Early voting begins next week in the South Carolina primary contests. The winner of the GOP 1st District primary will face Democrat Annie Andrews in November.


Meg Kinnard can be reached at

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