According to POLITICO, Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) may face a primary challenge from Dan Hanlon, who served as her chief of staff until late last month.
Hanlon is reportedly meeting with potential donors and possible members for his team.
“Rep. Nancy Mace’s former chief is weighing a primary challenge ag. her, setting up what could be one of the campaign season’s most bitter clashes,” POLITICO’s Olivia Beavers writes.
SCOOP: Rep. Nancy Mace’s former chief is weighing a primary challenge ag. her, setting up what could be one of the campaign season's most bitter clashes.
Dan Hanlon, who departed her office last month, is meeting w/ potential donors/team as he weighs bidhttps://t.co/TgdlajAhH2
— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) January 17, 2024
Hanlon became Mace’s chief in 2022, rising quickly to the top spot in her Hill office after serving in the Trump administration for four years.
Hanlon has until South Carolina’s March 30 filing deadline to decide on a run, though candidates usually need to get their operations up and running early if they want to be competitive, particularly against incumbents. Any primary challenge to Mace could get serious attention from the upper ranks of the House GOP, where some feelings are still bruised by her surprising vote to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) back in October.Advertisement
“Hanlon has been pleased with how well the idea has been received and how many people are looking for a Mace alternative, both money people in D.C. and movers and shakers in S.C.,” one of the Republicans familiar with his decision-making said.
While primary challenges are nothing new on the Hill, it’s rare to see a member face a direct challenge from a top aide who departed weeks earlier. Hanlon is well-positioned to expose Mace’s weak points during a primary battle, given his high-level knowledge of her office. But if he runs, he’d also leave himself open to counter-attacks from her backers that he’s motivated by a grudge against his former employer.
Nancy Mace’s former chief of staff is weighing a primary challenge against her, setting up what could be one of the campaign season's most bitter intra-party clashes.https://t.co/sfUJSuLdpz
— POLITICO (@politico) January 17, 2024
Mace has made a name for herself as a rabble-rouser on Capitol Hill, frustrating both conservative hardliners and moderate Republicans alike.
She attracted quite a bit of attention last fall when she joined a group of rebels led by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) in an ultimately successful effort to eject former Speaker Kevin McCarthy from his position.
While Mace explained her decision by arguing that McCarthy had broken promises to her, McCarthy told members of the press that Hanlon told him that he had kept his word and had said as much to Mace herself.