Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) could soon face a primary challenge from her former chief of staff, setting the stage for one of the fiercest intra-party challenges of the 2024 presidential election.
Mace’s former chief of staff, Dan Hanlon, who also served in the Trump administration, is reportedly considering a congressional bid against his ex-boss, according to Politico.
Rep. Nancy Mace's former chief of staff considering South Carolina Republican primary run against her: report https://t.co/jLPj9X8xvR
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Since South Carolina’s GOP presidential primary is scheduled for Feb. 24, 2024, Hanlon must decide whether he will run against Mace by March 30, 2024.
Mace has established herself as a staunch Trump supporter and one of the more conservative members of the House after she voted to oust then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from the speakership in October 2023. The South Carolina congresswoman’s move angered some Republicans, leading Hanlon to decide whether challenging her would be the correct move.
“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.,” a Republican familiar with Hanlon’s plans told Just the News.
Hanlon left Mace’s congressional office in December 2023, citing such a workplace as “toxic,” according to the Washington Examiner, which noted that the South Carolina lawmaker would often bring up inappropriate stories regarding her intimate relationship.
Officials familiar with the matter pointed out a tense exchange between Hanlon and Mace after the South Carolina congresswoman appointed a new chief of staff, Lorie Khatod.
Shortly before being ousted from the speakership, McCarthy called Hanlon and asked why Mace was siding with other Republicans to remove him.
“So, I call [Mace’s] chief of staff [Hanlon] … I said, ‘Can you please tell me, I don’t understand? Where have I not kept my word?” McCarthy told reporters about his conversation with Hanlon in October 2023. “Chief of staff said, ‘You have kept your word 100%,’”
“Her chief of staff told all of us we have kept every single one of our words. And he said he’s told her that, too,” McCarthy added.
McCarthy, who has since resigned from the House, noted that he would hire Hanlon if Mace fired him.