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Nancy Mace is Not Running for Senate — Yet

Lowcountry Republican laying groundwork for a challenge to Graham.

If you read the conservative blogosphere you might be led to believe that Lindsey Graham is facing certain defeat in his re-election bid next year. The only question is which Republican will beat him—Lee Bright, Richard Cash or Nancy Mace.

Of course, many parts of this same blogosphere are still reeling from the fact that neither Ron Paul nor Rick Santorum was able to beat Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination.

The fact is elections are not won or lost on the Internet and defeating Graham—in a primary or a general election—is a daunting, if not impossible task thanks to his sizable war chest and broad popularity throughout the state.

Among Cash, Bright and Mace, only Cash has officially declared his candidacy. Bright, a state senator from Spartanburg County, appears set to announce his challenge any day now.

Of her own potential candidacy Mace only says, “I feel like I’m sitting in the caboose of a freight train that is leaving the station.”

Over the past few months, Mace has been doing the things that people do before they run for office—speaking to civic groups, talking to potential donors, writing op-eds and appearing on talk radio.

All three of Graham’s rivals will face the struggle of low name ID. But it is Mace who would seem to have the best chance to be clear that hurdle.

On Monday, she was in the Upstate—speaking to civic groups and talking to potential donors and building her name ID.

For Mace, the trip was a chance to quite literally introduce herself to potential voters since they know very little about her other than she was the first female student to graduate from The Citadel.

Many of the voters Mace met with were part of the initial Tea Party wave in 2010. They have since grown disaffected with the state GOP in particular and the status quo in general. Many of them supported a motion to censure former state chair Chad Connelly and they did little to hide their distaste for Graham.

At a lunchtime meeting at Wade’s in Spartanburg, one man said, “I’ll vote for a baboon before I vote for Lindsey Graham.”

Jim Lee, a committeeman with the Greenville GOP, offered criticism of Graham and the direction of the party in more measured tones.

Lee said, “I wanted to hear what Mace said to the aggrieved portions of our party and what can be done to change the current state of affairs.”

At each of the stops Mace was asked about a variety of issues. During the day, news broke that the Supreme Court had overturned the portion of Arizona’s immigration law that allowed police officers to ask for identification, so immigration questions were predominant. But voters were also interested in her thoughts on how the economy can become more business-friendly.

Mace acknowledged that she is still working through her positions on policy, but said, “I feel like we are at a crossroads in the Republican Party. We are fractured and we need to come together. We need to decide if we are going to take the road we’ve always taken, or if, as Robert Frost said, we should take the road less traveled.”

Mace is aware of the task ahead of her should she make it official and run. Graham will have an overwhelming fundraising advantage, a better command of the issues and near-universal name recognition.

“Of course it will be a challenge (to get elected), but I do think it’s time we had someone in Washington who is representing the will of the people rather than special interests and elites,” she said.

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Jayson Mitchell June 18, 2013 at 01:20 AM
pleeeeaaasseee nancy, give it a rest... you ran a website that shows pornography.... pornography... what world do you live in???
Jayson Mitchell June 18, 2013 at 01:27 AM
"I feel like we are at a crossroads in the Republican Party. We are fractured and we need to come together." Yes, because we need someone who spent years objectifying women through her smut website to preach about party unity. Why don't we have Hugh Hefner run against Graham while we're at it? Man our state is ridiculous.
stanley seigler June 18, 2013 at 03:32 AM
"...it’s time we had someone in Washington who is representing the will of the people rather than special interests and elites,” she [mace] said. it time for politicians to come up some original thoughts/comments...eg, perhaps some specifics of how they/she will implement the will of the people... further just what does she see as the will of the people...if mace could come up with specifics there is a chance she might win...eg, will she advocate for fed funds to get chas harbor ready (creating jobs) for post panamax ships... butt watta i know...i thought colberT would do better...
Bill Bledsoe June 18, 2013 at 05:01 AM
Isn't it contradictory to see a republican, who accepts funds from special interest groups, say that we need someone who represents the people instead of the special interest groups. The one thing that American Voters know about politicians is that they lie. It's a law I think.
stanley seigler June 18, 2013 at 10:51 AM
@Bill Bledsoe, re: they lie only when their lips move... @PATCH is there a 'reply' feature on the comments...
JIM HOOD June 18, 2013 at 11:25 AM
I will vote against rino graham again. He never represented South Carolina and we are fools not to replace him. to me that's because even with a democrat, you know an enemy is in office and not a traitor.
Jonathan Allen (Editor) June 18, 2013 at 03:50 PM
@Stanley, Sorry I think the reply option was dropped in our redesign, but we're always looking to improve our users' experience on Patch, so I'll pass along your desire for the reply option to return to our IT people. If there is enough demand for it, I'm sure they'll figure out a way to bring it back. — Jonathan
stanley seigler June 18, 2013 at 09:19 PM
@Jonathan Allen, re: your [stanley's] desire for the reply option to return have no desires...folks just need to indicate to who/what they reply...
Amanda Leigh Cooley June 18, 2013 at 11:23 PM
@ jayson Mitchell - you are so misinformed- I love the hypocrisy in your judgement of porn- you must have years of experience in the subject to make such an opinion known! I imagine you are proud to be the judge of what objectifies women - how do you function with an ego of such massive size? You obviously visit the website you object to. Here is an idea - if it offends you - don't read it- wow what a novel idea - let your actions be your example - or just continue to be self righteous- keep posting your opinion - as a woman - I am offended by your smutty, ignorant comments.
Gretchen June 19, 2013 at 10:03 AM
Nobody is going to beat GRAHAM if the GOP runs 2 or 3 candidates against him. He will always come out on top that way. The GOP needs to CHOOSE one candidate to run.... PERIOD ! Otherwise Graham will win again. But... I don't have a lot of HOPE, the way the GOP party leaders run things around here :(
Jim Makeever June 19, 2013 at 11:47 AM
I don't care if she is a porn queen or not but it does seem like there is a lot of people who might not vote for her for that very reason, like most religious voters. That would seem to make it a gimme as far as the democrats are concerned. Graham seems out of touch with the voters will and maybe a close call on election would help bring him out of the clouds but I don't see any better candidates yet.
Rich39 June 19, 2013 at 12:28 PM
As long as most Republicans hate Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Jews, Catholics, and the other minorities, plus the environment, people's choice, and the world they will continue to lose in the nation. But not our (KKK/Tea Party) state.
stanley seigler June 19, 2013 at 02:36 PM
RE: as most Republicans hate... not sure it's numerical most...but certainly the most vocal GOPs... post from another PATCH thread: the party of stupid... these good folks cant be as illogical…as their rhetoric makes them seem...surely they do not speak for my daddy's 'grand old party'... they are the 'real rinos'...they are NOT compassionate conservatives as true GOPs are...they usurp the republican name and bring shame to the GOP... their motives, goals, cause, completely escape me... i had hoped they got the nov 2012 message...evidently not... sad rushannbeck (and NRA, and hypocritical christians) have such an influence over good folks... sadder yetstill, they invented/created rushannbeck... BTW rush rants bring to mind hitler rants... @PATCH, housekeeping suggestions: bring back 'what people are saying section'...and have post recognize paragraphs...have a 'reply' option to comments...
John Darren Smith June 20, 2013 at 04:08 PM
@Amanda Cooley: So says a woman who was caught cheating by her husband with another man she met on the internet while visiting some of the same type websites. Offended by smut? Audacity to allege hypocrisy? Look in the mirror and take yourself off your pedestal. Maybe spend less time on the internet and backing such a candidate, and worry about your family life! -jds
stanley seigler June 22, 2013 at 04:53 PM
not sure who was caught cheating, cooley or mace...but macht nichts...mace will need more qualifications than 'first female citadel grad to beat graham...~~~~~ wont happen but would like to see colbert-busch as graham's DEM opponent in the general...SC#1 made a big mistake electing sanford...sanford was/is just more of the sameoldsame...
Bryon Harrelson July 10, 2013 at 01:03 AM
He needs to be defeated,that immigration bill he just voted for will make employers get rid of Americans and legal immigrants and hire the illegal immigrants. Americans and legal immigrants will become second-class citizens if that bill becomes law.
stanley seigler July 10, 2013 at 09:37 PM
re: Americans and legal immigrants will become second-class citizens if that bill becomes law... ~~why would someone make such a stupid statement...if there are any facts to confirm i will apologize profusely... BTW agree graham needs to be defeated...replaced by a DEM...SC should look to the DEM run state of CA for ideas to improve the economy... ~~also GOPs need to realize white males will soon be the minority if they ever want to win another election outside SC...

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