Republican Nancy Mace secures State House District 99 seat
With 56 percent of the total area votes, Republican candidate Nancy Mace came out on top against Democratic opponent Cindy Boatwright in a special election last week, securing her spot as the first female to hold the South Carolina State House District 99 seat.
Also the first woman to ever graduate from The Citadel, Mace explained that she is grateful for the opportunities that have come her way.
“I'm deeply humbled and honored voters have confidence in me for this position,” said Mace. “I never thought about being the first woman when I attended The Citadel or when I ran for this office. I just believe in the value of hard work and that you can do anything you want as long as you set your mind to it and have the drive and work ethic to get you there.”
Of the 3,675 total ballots cast between Berkeley and Charleston Counties, Mace obtained 2,066 votes, while Boatwright received 1,587 votes. While Mace won the majority of Berkeley County votes, Boatwright captured the lead in Charleston County with 687 votes versus Mace’s 634.
Mace, who is set to be sworn in on Tuesday, Jan. 23, emphasized that her focus moving forward will remain on the issues concerning the residents of District 99, such as infrastructure, the nuclear power plant, education and tax reform.
“The number one concern I heard about from voters is the crisis with infrastructure and roads,” she said. “Our area has seen tremendous growth and I want to make this my top priority…Secondly, we see the headlines everyday about the nuclear power plant mess. At present, there are no good outcomes in this thing and my concern is that lawmakers will push through a solution that might give them political cover in the short term, but is bad for ratepayers in the long term…People also want to keep more of what they earn – especially middle income earners and small businesses who are overtaxed and overburdened at the state level. And lastly, parents want options in a true education marketplace—one driven by academic performance not loyalty to a broken system.”
The abundance of issues facing the state and the area, continued Mace, will take a lot of effort from various facets of the government in Columbia.
“A lot of the reforms we need to implement will require hard work and political courage – but they aren't complicated,” said Mace. “They simply require us to apply common sense and uncommon effort.”
In a statement released after the election, Boatwright’s campaign team said the candidate had “changed the political landscape” in S.C. House District 99, calling it a “new day for Democrats” in the state.
“She is the first Democrat to run for the seat since 2000,” stated the release. “…Although most observers considered District 99 to be solidly Republican, (Boatwright) listened to the constituents in the District and realized there was tremendous support for a progressive candidate. She rolled up her sleeves and dove right into a race with little existing political infrastructure in place for a Democratic candidate...Ms. Boatwright thanks the tireless volunteers, donors and voters for their investment in her campaign and South Carolina’s bright future…(She) is grateful to her supporters and passes a healthy Democratic base to the next nominee.”
Voter turnout in all four of Daniel Island’s precincts averaged 16.5 percent, while Cainhoy peninsula precincts Yellow House and The Village had six percent and 10 percent respectively. Based on posts on social media pages, there was a bit of confusion on election day among Daniel Island 1 and Daniel Island 2 voters as to where to cast their ballots. Some residents reported to Daniel Island School only to learn they were to vote at Daniel Island Club, their normal polling location. A couple of posts alleged that a last-minute polling change had occurred the night before. But, according to Director of Berkeley County Elections and Voter Registration Adam Hammons, that was not the case.
“Voters voted at their regular polling places but it was different from where some voters voted in November,” said Hammons. “In November Daniel Island 1 and 2 voted at the Daniel Island School because the Daniel Island Club was unavailable. We sent a post card to all voters affected and let them know that the November elections would have voting at the school and that is was a temporary change only for those elections…Unfortunately, some voters were confused and went back to the school…instead of their correct polling place at the Daniel Island Club. I am not sure where the information about it being changed last minute came from…We learn from every election of how to get better, we now understand to give a bit more information on any post cards we send in the future.”