Rep. Nancy Mace’s former chief of staff considering South Carolina Republican primary run against her: report

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Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., reportedly could face a primary challenge from her own former chief of staff, Dan Hanlon. 

Hanlon, who joined Mace’s office in 2021 and in 2022 rose to chief of staff, a role he held until a few weeks ago, has been meeting with potential donors and staffers while considering run against his former boss, according to Politico, which cited two Republicans with direct knowledge of the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity. 

“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.,” one of the Republicans told Politico. One of the Republicans also predicted that some of Mace’s other staffers could jump ship to support a Hanlon campaign if one emerges. 

Mace notably ruffled feathers within her own party in joining seven other Republicans in voting to oust former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy last year. 

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Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., speaks during the House Oversight and Accountability Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024.  (Getty Images)

Hanlon, who previously served in the Trump administration for all four years, must make a filing decision ahead of the March 30 deadline. 

Though primary challengers are not unusual, one brought by someone with such insider knowledge of the candidate he’d be battling for the nomination is rarer. 

Mace in capitol hallway

Rep. Nancy Mace departs a House Republican Conference meeting at the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 2, 2023 in Washington, DC.  (Getty Images)

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After he was booted from the speakership in October, McCarthy referenced Mace’s chief of staff in an on-air interview, saying he called Hanlon to ask “where have I not kept my word.” 

“Chief of staff said, ‘You have kept your word, 100 percent,’” McCarthy said.”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.”

Mace and MTG

Reps. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., and Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., attend the House and Senate committee markup of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 in Dirksen Building on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023.  (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Hanlon left Mace’s office in early December after the congresswoman was already vying to name a new chief of staff, four people familiar with the matter told Politico. 

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Three people familiar with the matter told the outlet that Mace’s incoming chief of staff, Lorie Khatod, called the Capitol Police amid a tense scene when Hanlon came to hand in his keys. 

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