Nancy Mace was born on April 28, 1977 in San Diego, California. Her father was a military officer, so she moved frequently growing up. Mace lived in Greece, Dallas, Seattle, and Japan before her family settled in South Carolina when she was 16 years old.
In high school, Mace participated in activities like student council, debate team, and junior ROTC. She graduated from Stratford High School in Goose Creek, South Carolina in 1995.
Mace attended The Citadel military college in Charleston, South Carolina. When she enrolled in 1996, the once all-male Citadel had just begun admitting women after a Supreme Court ruling forced them to become co-ed.
As a “knob” (Citadel terminology for freshman), Mace endured intense hazing and harassment from male cadets. Out of around 550 female cadets who entered The Citadel in the first few years it was open to women, Mace was one of only about 60 who graduated.
She made history in 1999 as the first female graduate of The Citadel corps of cadets, earning a Bachelor’s degree in business administration. Mace later received a Master’s degree in mass communication from the University of Georgia in 2004.
Marketing and Public Relations
After finishing her Master’s degree, Mace worked in marketing and public relations firms based in Charleston, South Carolina. She specialized in crisis communication, advising major corporations and CEOs on PR strategy. Some of her past clients included Walmart, McDonald’s, and BP.
Mace also did pro bono work for military family charities and traveled overseas to work with women and children in Third World countries.
Involvement in Politics
In 2008, Mace worked on Lindsey Graham’s campaign during his re-election bid for the U.S. Senate. She helped handle communication strategy and grassroots organizing.
Later, Mace served as the coalitions director for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign in South Carolina. She connected Trump with military veterans and influential political leaders in the state.
South Carolina House of Representatives
Election and Tenure
In 2018, Mace successfully ran for South Carolina’s 99th House District seat. She defeated Democratic challenger Jen Gibson in the general election.
As a state representative, Mace served on several committees including budget review, regulations and administrative procedures, and operations and management.
- Operations and Management
- Regulations and Administrative Procedures
- Legislative Oversight Committee
- Budget Review Subcommittee on Finance and Revenue
Some notable bills Mace introduced or supported as a state legislator included:
- A spending limit amendment to restrict state government expenditures
- Income and corporate tax cuts
- Abortion restrictions like a fetal heartbeat bill and limits on late-term procedures
- Medical marijuana legalization
- Offshore drilling bans to protect the coastline of South Carolina
2020 U.S. House Election
In 2020, Mace challenged freshman incumbent Joe Cunningham for South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District seat. She criticized his voting record as being too aligned with Nancy Pelosi and out of touch with the district’s conservative leanings.
Mace defeated Cunningham in the general election, 50.6% to 49.3%. This flipped the seat back to Republican control after Cunningham had won it for Democrats in 2018.
2022 U.S. House Election
Mace won re-election to the U.S. House in 2022, defeating Democrat Annie Andrews 56.4% to 42.5%. Her Republican primary race against Katie Arrington, a Trump-endorsed challenger who attacked her criticism of the former president, was closer but Mace prevailed 53% to 45%.
Tenure in U.S. House
- House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
- House Committee on Oversight and Reform
- Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
- Subcommittee on Government Operations
Legislation and Policy Positions
Economy and Budget Issues
Mace supports tax cuts, reducing federal spending, and limiting government regulations. She has called for adopting a balanced budget amendment and voting against raising the debt ceiling.
In 2021, Mace introduced the Family Prosperity Act to cut taxes for low-income Americans by expanding the child tax credit and earned income tax credit. It did not receive a House vote.
Mace identifies as pro-life and has supported abortion restrictions like 20-week bans and heartbeat bills as a state lawmaker. However, she said the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was “bad ruling”. Mace has also sponsored legislation to legalize marijuana.
On LGBT issues, Mace voted in support of the Respect for Marriage Act to codify federal recognition of same-sex marriage but opposed the Equality Act, arguing it “would actually harm LGBT Americans”.
Foreign Policy Issues
In Congress, Mace has criticized Democratic efforts she sees as excessive spending abroad on foreign aid. She voted against the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act despite usually supporting defense funding bills. Mace argued this one committed too much to overseas operations rather than domestic bases.
Mace has expressed strong support for Israel. She voted for supplemental funding to assist Israel’s Iron Dome defense system but against economic aid to the Palestinian Authority. She also introduced a resolution criticizing the terrorist group Hamas.
Congressional Caucus Memberships
- Republican Study Committee
- Congressional Freedom Caucus
- Congressional Pro-Life Caucus
- House Freedom Caucus
Economy and Budget Issues
Mace has consistently argued for fiscal conservatism policies like lowering taxes, reducing federal spending and limiting deficit growth. She views excessive government regulation and programs as harmful to small businesses and economic prosperity.
Health Care Issues
Mace has been critical of the Affordable Care Act and supports repealing and replacing it with a more free market approach centered around individual choice and competition among insurers to lower costs. However, she opposed Republican efforts in 2017 to repeal the ACA through budget reconciliation over concerns that no proper replacement plan was in place yet.
On issues like medical marijuana and abortion, Mace believes these types of health care decisions should be left to patients and doctors without federal government interference.
Mace holds conservative stances on most social issues. She identifies as pro-life, supporting legislation to limit or restrict access to abortion at the state level. Mace has voted in favor of both 20-week and fetal heartbeat abortion bans.
However, Mace has said abortion should be permitted in cases of rape, incest, life endangerment, and fatal fetal abnormalities. She criticized the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, arguing it was too extreme and would not properly account for those exceptional situations.
Mace also supports legalizing medical marijuana and introduced bills toward that aim as a state legislator. On LGBT issues, her record has been mixed – supporting legislation like banning housing and employment discrimination based on sexual orientation but opposing broad equality bills.
Mace acknowledges the scientific consensus around climate change and humans’ role in accelerating it. However, she argues the United States alone cannot remedy global climate change. Mace opposes cap-and-trade systems or carbon taxes which she believes would negatively harm the American economy and workers.
Instead, Mace advocates for free market solutions that balance environmental protections with economic growth. This includes expanding tax credits for renewable energy investments.
On local environmental issues, Mace strongly opposes any oil or gas exploration off the South Carolina coastline which could endanger tourism and wildlife habitats. She introduced state legislation annually to continue banning drilling or seismic testing in coastal waters.
Foreign Policy Issues
In terms of foreign policy, Mace believes in a policy of “peace through strength” built around maintaining a well-funded military able to defend America’s interests and security abroad. She argues defense spending bills should prioritize supporting domestic military bases and personnel before foreign aid or overseas operations.
Mace is generally supportive of Israel and strengthening that bilateral relationship. She has voted for military funding assistance to Israel and resolutions supporting its right to defend itself from regional terrorist groups like Hamas. However, Mace also believes the U.S. should push hard for an equitable two-state solution between Israel and Palestinians.
Nancy Mace is married to Curtis Loftis, the South Carolina state treasurer. They have two children together named Millie and George.
Outside her duties in Congress, Mace stays active in various community organizations supporting veterans, women, conservation efforts, etc. She owns a public relations firm called the Mace Group based in Mount Pleasant.
Does Nancy Mace support legalizing recreational marijuana?
No, Mace only supports legalizing marijuana for approved medical uses, not general recreational usage. She introduced legislation as a state lawmaker to create a tightly regulated medical marijuana program in South Carolina.
What was Mace’s voting record with Donald Trump?
According to the data analysis company FiveThirtyEight, Mace voted in line with Trump’s stated position around 90% of the time during his administration. She broke with most Republicans in voting to certify President Biden’s electoral college victory.
Is Nancy Mace running for U.S. Senate?
No, Mace announced in early 2023 she would seek re-election to the House rather than challenge long-time Republican Senator Lindsey Graham as she did unsuccessfully in the 2014 Senate primary race.
What about Mace’s voting record on LGBT rights?
Mace has a mixed voting record on LGBT legislation. She opposed the 2021 Equality Act but voted in favor of the Respect for Marriage Act to codify federal recognition of same-sex marriages.
Where does Mace stand on raising the debt ceiling?
Mace opposes raising the debt ceiling without corresponding spending cuts to reduce budget deficits. She has argued Congress needs to reform its budget process rather than keep approving higher debt limits without addressing the underlying overspending problems.