Katie Arrington, the Trump-endorsed candidate hoping to usurp Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), used her only primary debate to slam the incumbent for voting to certify the 2020 election results and for working with congressional Democrats.
Arrington, who won the Republican nomination for South Carolina‘s Charleston-anchored 1st Congressional District in 2018 before losing the general election that year to Democrat Joe Cunningham, chided Mace for teaming up with members of the Left, who she said have “lost their mind.”
“She turned her back on President Trump, and that is not what a conservative does,” Arrington said. “She read the room wrong. She thought this district was a moderate district, and we are not.”
The hourlong debate was dramatic from the start, opening with the withdrawal of Lynz Piper-Loomis, the third major Republican in the race. Piper-Loomis endorsed Arrington, hugged her, and left the stage.
The fieriest clash came toward the end when Mace broached allegations that Arrington had disclosed classified information in 2021, when she was the Pentagon’s chief information security officer in the acquisition and sustainment office.
“Everything she said is a lie,” Arrington said.
“You’re the liar,” a crowd member yelled.
“I’ve got the receipts,” Mace replied.
Throughout the debate, Arrington reiterated her opposition to critical race theory being taught in classrooms and children being “indoctrinated” by “the transgender agenda” and called for the abolition of the federal Department of Education.
Mace also underscored her general election success, in particular her victory over Cunningham in 2020.
“I know how to keep this seat Republican because I won this seat back for Republicans in November of 2020, and come hell or high water, I’m going to keep this seat in Republican hands in November,” Mace said.
That did not stop Arrington from pressing Mace on the delay in introducing her “Penny Plan,” an attempt to balance the federal budget, and her backing of animal rights bills, including protecting pandas.
“Her platform … is almost a Democrat’s platform,” Arrington said. “You can say you’re a fiscal conservative, but then you act like a liberal or a RINO. And that is not what we need in this district.”
The South Carolina primaries are set for June 14.