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Mace says fundraising tops South Carolina House '22 hopefuls

Nancy Mace
Meg Kinnard/AP
/
AP
FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, file photo U.S. House candidate Nancy Mace speaks at a campaign event in North Charleston, S.C. In her first reelection campaign, U.S. Rep. Mace said Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021, that she’s raised more than any other South Carolina congressional candidate thus far for 2022, seeking to maintain the GOP's hold on a district that has changed party hands twice in as many election cycles. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard, File)

In her first congressional reelection campaign, U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace said this week that she's raised more than any other South Carolina House candidate in 2022, seeking to maintain the GOP's hold on a district that has changed party hands twice in the last two election cycles.

So far, Mace has raised a total of nearly $2.5 million for next year's reelection, the first-term Republican told The Associated Press on Wednesday. That includes about $950,000 in the third fundraising quarter, which ended last month, an amount that eclipsed each of her two previous quarters this year.

Mace, the first Republican woman elected to represent South Carolina in Congress, won a narrow victory in 2020 over Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham, taking back South Carolina's 1st District for Republicans in one of a series of GOP victories across the state, at all electoral levels.

Cunningham had a historic victory of his own in 2018, when he flipped that seat along South Carolina's southern coast from Republican to Democratic control for the first time in decades. The win also made Cunningham South Carolina's first new Democrat to go to Congress since Jim Clyburn in 1992.

But the victory proved tenuous. State GOP Chairman Drew McKissick, calling Cunningham's win Republicans' "biggest disappointment" of that cycle, focused party resources on taking back the seat, dedicating a full-time staff focused on taking back the seat. Mace won her 2020 primary outright, over three other Republicans, immediately turning her focus to Cunningham.

Although the AP called the race for Mace soon after midnight on Election Day, Cunningham didn't concede to Mace until several days later. He's now one of a handful of Democrats seeking to challenge Republican Gov. Henry McMaster's pursuit of a second full term.

Thus far, three other Republicans have filed as candidates seeking to oust Mace. Only one of those, Lynz Piper-Loomis, has reported any fundraising, marking $17,000 as of the end of June.

On Wednesday, Mace said her current fundraising trajectory puts her on track to raise as much as $5 million before June's primary — not too far behind her $5.7 million haul for the entire 2020 election cycle.

"I work extremely hard to deliver results for the Lowcountry. I will work equally hard as I ask for their vote for reelection," Mace told AP. "The amount of grassroots support my campaign is getting as I begin my reelection campaign is unbelievable and incredibly humbling."

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