- The Washington Times - Friday, August 2, 2013

The first female graduate of the Citadel is raising money in preparation for a 2014 primary challenge against GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Nancy Mace is scheduled to officially announce her political plans on Saturday, and the married mother of two is already signaling her intent to oust Mr. Graham from office next year by asking supporters to donate to her campaign.

“I need your help to make sure that South Carolina’s conservative values are represented in the U.S. Senate,” Mrs. Mace said on her website. “We have a long campaign ahead of us, and we can’t do it without your support.”

Tea party groups have been clamoring for someone to try to topple Mr. Graham, who they say has habitually sold out the limited government principles that fuel the grass-roots movement. They call him a “RINO,” or “Republican In Name Only.”

Mrs. Mace’s campaign announcement will come roughly a week after a conservative South Carolina group launched a grassroots campaign targeting Mr. Graham in the 2014 election.

Carolina Conservatives United, a non-profit organization, said Mr. Graham has made a habit of saying one thing, but doing another, selling out their limited government principles and showing “contempt” for small government advocates.

“We never know which Lindsey Graham will show up in Washington each day,” said Bruce Carroll, the group’s chairman. “He’s more likely to side with liberal Senate Democrats on important votes than with Senator Tim Scott or the South Carolina Republican Congressional delegation.”

Mrs. Mace delivers a similar message on her website.

“Voters here in South Carolina are frustrated with the status quo,” she said. “Washington is out of touch, and the only way to change Washington is to change who we send to Washington.”

Mr. Graham appears to be in good financial shape as he looks toward winning a third term. As of June 30, he had $6.3 million cash on hand for re-election, and polls have shown he is on sturdy footing.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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