Former Nancy Mace chief of staff files to run against ex-boss for South Carolina House seat

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Republican South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace’s former chief of staff has launched a primary challenge against the lawmaker following his departure from her office last month.

In a bid to replace Mace as the representative for the Palmetto State’s First Congressional District, Dan Hanlon filed his statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission on Friday.

Hanlon joined Mace’s office in 2021 after serving in the Trump administration’s Office of Management and Budget. He departed last month under reportedly contentious circumstances.

FORMER NANCY MACE STAFFERS WORKING WITH EX-CHIEF OF STAFF TO UNSEAT HER, SOURCES SAY

Republican South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace’s former chief of staff has launched a primary challenge against the lawmaker following his departure from her office last month. (Getty Images)

Mace and Hanlon reportedly had a falling-out last fall when she voted with seven Republicans and all Democrats to oust then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., from his post.

Hanlon’s decision to challenge Mace in the state’s primary election, which is slated to take place on June 11, comes after a source told Fox News Digital earlier this month that a handful of former Mace staffers were informally aiding Hanlon’s bid to replace his ex-boss in some capacity.

“I along with several other former staff are backing Hanlon in some sort of way,” the source said.

“Dan has been overwhelmed by the amount of support he’s received, and due to the number of people wanting to financially support him, had to file a campaign account,” an advisor to Hanlon told Fox News Digital Saturday. 

“While he still hasn’t made a final decision on running, it’s clear Nancy Mace has become a joke in the Lowcountry. Off the backs of tax payers she’s upped her net worth by millions while delivering no real results, and South Carolinians are looking for an alternative they can actually be proud of,” the advisor said.

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Nancy Mace, Dan Hanlon

Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., rear right, holds a staff meeting at her office on April 25, 2023, in Washington, D.C. Photographed taking part in the meeting is Dan Hanlon, far left. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Mace’s campaign told Fox News Digital earlier this month, amid reports that he planned to enter the race, that Mace “couldn’t get this lucky.”

When reached for comment last week about the matter, Doug Stafford, a spokesman for Mace’s re-election campaign, said, “This can’t be true. Mace couldn’t get this lucky? Well, would he move there, ’cause he sure as s— doesn’t live there now!”

Mace offered similar comments at the time when she was asked about reports that Hanlon might run for her seat, telling Fox News, “I believe we put a statement out. He’s going to have to move to the district if he has to run.”

Nancy Mace talks to reporters

Asked about the likelihood Hanlon would challenge her, Mace told Fox News Digital last week, “I believe we put a statement out. He’s going to have to move to the district if he has to run.” (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A source familiar with Hanlon’s plans responded to her accusation at the time about his living outside the district, saying earlier this month, “Dan owns a home in the district. Rep. Mace had her ex-fiancé buy her one.”

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Fox News’ Elizabeth Elkind contributed to this report.

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