GOOSE CREEK, South Carolina — Katie Arrington is poised to benefit from the new contours of South Carolina’s Low Country congressional district in its 2022 Republican primary and a possible general election, if she wins on June 14.
Incumbent Rep. Nancy Mace has pummeled Arrington on her electability after the former state lawmaker primaried then-Rep. Mark Sanford in 2018 before being defeated by Joe Cunningham, conceding the 1st Congressional District to Democrats for the first time in almost 40 years. But Arrington, who is endorsed by former President Donald Trump, contends this cycle is different because of the map and the national political climate.
“We are heavily conservative,” she told the Washington Examiner Saturday after a Berkeley County Republican Party breakfast. “When the 2020 election happened, 2018, we were purple-ish. We are not purple now. We are hardcore conservative.”
“We care about faith, family, and freedom, and that was what she was sent to Washington to do,” she said.
As a result of South Carolina’s 2020 Census redistricting process, House Minority Whip Jim Clyburn’s 6th District now includes some of downtown Charleston, and the 1st District has been stretched further inland to its north. The changes have created a R+17 district from a R+14 one, according to FiveThirtyEight.
Arrington’s path to victory depends on voter turnout in more conservative counties, such as Beaufort and Berkeley, the latter of which captures Goose Creek. During the breakfast, her candidate speech was met with the loudest applause, and she won a straw poll with 76% support to Mace’s 17%.
Arrington asserts she can represent constituents with whom she does not agree. However, she has promised not to work with the “radical Left” or co-sponsor bills with Democrats such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
“I represent Americans. That’s what I’m going to represent,” she said. “I talk to everyday Americans every day. I have family members who are of the other party. I talk to everybody the same: down-to-earth, straight-shooter.”
“I’m not emboldened by the Swamp,” she said, referring to Washington. “I don’t necessarily care what D.C. thinks. I care about what this district thinks. I’m not out to impress somebody to get on TV.”