POLITICS
08/03/2013 11:00 am ET Updated Aug 03, 2013

Nancy Mace Senate Run: Tea Party Favorite Announces Challenge To Lindsey Graham

Republican Nancy Mace announced she is running for the United States Senate, posing a primary challenge to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

Mace is the first female graduate of The Citadel and a tea party favorite. She also runs a small public relations firm, according to the AP.

Mace announced her candidacy at a Saturday breakfast hosted by the Berkeley County Republican Party:

Mace is not the first to announce a challenge to Graham. Republican attorney Richard Cash said in April he would run against Graham in 2014, calling the senator "out of touch."

HuffPost reported earlier on potential Graham challengers:

Graham, who will seek a third term in the Senate, has been targeted by tea party activists who have taken issue with his willingness to compromise with Democratic colleagues on issues like immigration reform. Conservatives also lashed out at Graham for his opposition to Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Ky.) March filibuster on the Obama administration's use of drones.

"Lindsey Graham could be replaced with someone worthy of that seat," FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe said in May. "The way he lashed out against Rand Paul, he's begging for a primary."

Below, more from the AP on Mace's announcement:

GOOSE CREEK, S.C. — The first woman to graduate from The Citadel has announced her plans to challenge U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham in the Republican primary in 2014.

Nancy Mace announced her candidacy Saturday at a GOP breakfast in Goose Creek.

Mace told the audience that she thinks government is out of touch, and that while it has worked its way into every corner of American lives, the country isn't better off for it.

Mace runs a small public relations firm and graduated from The Citadel in 1999. She has sharply criticized Graham in the past several months for not being conservative enough.

State Sen. Lee Bright from Spartanburg says he also will enter the Republican primary soon. The only announced candidate to take on Graham is Anderson businessman Richard Cash.

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