As the first woman to graduate from The Citadel, Nancy Mace says she knows what it is like to be on the outside looking in. She was frequently ostracized by the males at the school.
“When my father (Citadel graduate and retired Army Brigadier General Emory Mace) in a few words dropped me off at the gates of the Citadel in 1996, his final words to me were this: ‘Nancy, don’t call home if you want to quit. Just put on your shoes and start walking,’” Mace told those gathered at the monthly meeting of the Orangeburg County Republican Party Tuesday evening at Rosalia’s Mexican Restaurant.
Mace, 35, would go on to graduate magna cum laude in three years and has since opened up a consulting business: The Mace Group.
Mace says her experience at The Citadel has prepared her for this day. She is now running against incumbent Sen. Lindsey Graham for the Republican nomination for his seat.
Richard Cash, a onetime pro-life activist and former congressional candidate, and state Sen. Lee Bright have said they are seeking the position.
“I learned two things in that process as a woman in that environment: You could bend over backwards bending your value system, your principles and your beliefs, and change who you are as a person,” she said. “Or you could do what I did and, I earned very few friends, but I stayed true to who I was. I did not change my values, or my beliefs or my principles. I was still successful.”
Mace acknowledged the race is an “uphill battle.”
She said the Republican Party can follow the path of growing government, “or we can take another path -- the path of free market, the path of limited government, the path of the Constitution and our founding principles.”
She said Graham is an “establishment” Republican.
“I see conservative Republicans stand up for the Constitution, who are standing up for border security, who are against amnesty, who are standing up to defund Obamacare, who are standing against reckless spending, who are standing against tax increases on the backs of individual taxpayers and small business,” she said.
“Almost always we can find our senior senator on the other side. It is time to change the direction of Washington. It is time to change the direction of our party and to change the direction of our country,” she said.
Mace said she does not believe the U.S. should get involved in Syria.
“I don’t think we have any good choices,” she said.
Also at Tuesday’s GOP meeting:
Woodford Mayor Charlie Stoudemire, who is running for the House District 93 seat, said he will focus on enhancing technical training skills for high school students.
Zipporah Mapp Sumpter, a write-in candidate for mayor of Orangeburg, said she will focus on implementing a healthy eating initiative, continuing downtown beautification and extending beautification beyond downtown.
The Rev. Leon Winn, who is running for the sixth Congressional District seat, said he wants to let his fellow black Americans know that the Republican Party is the party of freedom, boasting the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglas, Harriet Tubman and Mary McLeod Bethune.
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