CHARLESTON, S.C. — Representative Nancy Mace, a Republican who clashed with former President Donald J. Trump after the Jan. 6 attack, fended off a primary challenge on Tuesday from Katie Arrington, a former state representative who had Mr. Trump’s backing. The race was called by The Associated Press.
Ms. Mace played up her background as a onetime Waffle House waitress and the first woman to graduate from the Citadel, the military college of South Carolina. Billing herself as a “new voice” for the Republican Party, Ms. Mace, 44, championed a range of issues in Congress, including veterans’ rights and marijuana legalization. Her Lowcountry district, which stretches along South Carolina’s southeastern coast from Charleston to just beyond Hilton Head Island, favors Republicans.
Ms. Mace drew Mr. Trump’s ire a few days into her first term after she condemned his role in the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His false claims about the election being stolen, she said in interviews, contributed to the riots and “wiped out” the Trump administration’s accomplishments.
Mr. Trump subsequently labeled Ms. Mace a “RINO,” a pejorative acronym meaning Republican in name only, and endorsed Ms. Arrington.
In an effort to re-enter his good graces, Ms. Mace traveled to New York in February to film a video in front of Trump Tower that promoted her loyalty to the former president.
But Mr. Trump did not heed her entreaties. He headlined a rally weeks later for Ms. Arrington and State Representative Russell Fry, who is challenging another South Carolina representative, Tom Rice. Mr. Rice was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Mr. Trump after the Capitol riot.
Mr. Trump heavily criticized Ms. Mace and Mr. Rice throughout the primary campaign. Last week, he hosted a tele-rally for his two favored candidates, underlining Ms. Mace and Mr. Rice’s perceived disloyalties.
Even so, Ms. Mace raised more money than Ms. Arrington by a 2-to-1 margin and outspent her by more than $300,000 on the airwaves, according to the political spending tracker AdImpact. She courted the district’s most influential political and business leaders and, in the race’s final days, campaigned alongside a number of high-profile figures on the right, including a former Trump White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, and former Gov. Nikki Haley.
Ms. Mace will face the Democratic nominee, Annie Andrews, in November.