South Carolina’s Mace gets a boost from McCarthy, Gabbard

Republican U.S. Rep. Nancy Mays of South Carolina is getting a boost from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other political figures in the final week before the midterm elections as she seeks a second term representing her fast-growing district.

On Wednesday, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, the Cuban-American politician who currently serves as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, will appear with Mace at an event in Mount Pleasant, near Charleston, Mace’s campaign said in Associated Press.

A day later, former Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who represented Hawaii as a Democrat but recently announced she was leaving the party, is holding a campaign rally with Mace at a restaurant in Mount Pleasant.

On Saturday, McCarthy, R-Calif., will beat Mace at a fundraiser in downtown Charleston that is expected to bring in $100,000, according to her campaign.

“These leaders represent a wide range of voters — Republicans, Democrats and Independents — and are here to remind Lowcountry voters that Nancy Mace is an independent voice for them in Washington,” said Mace’s campaign manager, Austin McCubbin , in the AP on Monday. .

The appearances come as Mays prepares to face off against Democrat Annie Andrews, a Charleston-area pediatrician who has portrayed Mays as too soft on gun safety, branding herself as an advocate for children.

Mays campaigned for bipartisan legislation during her first term, but also took aim at advocating for Andrews’ children by accusing the doctor of “child abuse” for supporting alleged gender-affirming surgeries on minors. In their only discussion, Andrews responded by saying that she does not support such surgeries for children, but supports “evidence-based medical care, with parental consent, for teenagers struggling with gender identity issues.”

The 1st District, which stretches along much of South Carolina’s southern coast, is the only one of South Carolina’s seven districts with a recent history of changing hands. In 2018, Democrat Joe Cunningham became the first Democrat in decades to flip a state seat from red to blue, though he lost the seat to Mace two years later.

But for this year’s election, the lines have been redrawn, a redrawing that may have made the district more likely to be in GOP control than in previous elections. It has also been listed as among the top 10 fastest growing regions in the country, with population movements playing a role in the region’s political makeup.

Mays fended off a strong primary challenge from Katie Arrington, a former House member backed by former President Donald Trump, who had asked for “any interest from America’s good and SMART Republican First Patriots” to run against of a slate of House Republicans. including Mace.

Although Trump campaigned heavily against Mays during her primary because of her criticism of him after the January 6 riot, he ultimately congratulated Mays after her primary victory.

McCarthy has been campaigning for GOP House candidates across the country as control of the chamber hangs in the balance in the midterm elections. He was in South Carolina earlier this year to headline a fundraiser for the state GOP and endorsed Mays during her 2020 term, praising Mays’ “tireless work ethic, conservative track record and ability to get things done.” .

Suarez, who won a nonpartisan re-election last year, is a registered Republican and recently floated the possibility of running for president in 2024, seeing himself as unafraid to buck his party’s establishment. Noting that he did not vote for Trump in 2020, Suarez also criticized GOP Florida Gov. Ron DeSandis — whom he also did not endorse in his 2018 campaign — pushing back against DeSandis’ decision to prevent local communities from establish a mask. orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gabbard, who sought the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination before leaving the party earlier this year, has hit the trail with several Republican candidates on the midterm ballot, including Utah Sen. Mike Lee, the Michigan gubernatorial candidate; Tudor Dixon, of Arizona. Senate candidate Kari Lake and Nevada Adam Laxalt.

Early voting is underway in South Carolina and will run through Saturday.

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Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the 2022 midterm elections at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections.

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