B.A. in Business Administration, The Citadel; M.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia
KEY HEALTH LINK
Mace is a COVID-19 survivor and has donated her plasma. She is also a lifelong blood donor. Mace sponsored various health care and women’s health related bills and gained visiblity for being pro-life while actively supporting an amendment for exceptions for health of the mother and in cases of rape and incest. During the debate, Mace revealed that she is a survivor of sexual assault.
South Carolina House of Representatives (99th district), 2018-2021
2020 ELECTION CONTEXT
Mace won a decisive majority victory in the Republican primary over three other candidates and defeated incumbent Democrat Joe Cunningham in Cunningham’s first re-election campaign after winning the seat in 2018.
Joe Cunningham (D), defeated in re-election bid
MOST RECENT PROFESSION
South Carolina State Representative (99th district); Commercial Real Estate at Keller Williams Commercial
Mace began her career working in public relations and marketing, ultimately starting her own company, The Mace Group, in 2008. In 2014, Mace ran in the Republican Senate primary and was defeated by incumbent Republican Senator Lindsey Graham. In 2016, Mace served as the South Carolina Coalitions Director and Field Director for the Trump campaign. In 2017, Mace won a seat in the SC House after a special election primary runoff and general election to replace Jimmy Merrill after he resigned because of ethics violations. She was re-elected in 2018. While in the South Carolina legislature, Mace served on the Judiciary Committee.
On The Issues
In April 2020, Mace published an op-ed in The Post and Courier where she stated, "In South Carolina, all businesses that want to operate should be allowed to with safety measures in place. Everyone should wear masks and wash their hands regularly. In some cases, employees should go further by wearing gloves. Capacity should be limited initially, then brought back up to normal as quickly as possible. [...] I trust South Carolina residents to continue to take this virus seriously. People who are at greater risk for COVID-19 can and should stay home longer." Mace announced she tested positive for COVID-19 on June 23rd, 2020 and received criticism for voting in the primary runoff that same day without wearing a mask. In July 2020, Mace donated plasma. In August 2020, Mace toured a facility in South Carolina that was working to process COVID-19 testing swabs.
Mace supports repealing and replacing the ACA, stating that it “suffocate[s] individual liberty and further stifle[s] economic growth," adding that, "We must use any means possible to repeal, defund and ultimately stop Obamacare.” She pledged to replace it with a plan that will "expand access, drive down prices and improve the quality of health care for Americans," noting that, "as a limited-government, fiscal conservative, I understand when politics and overly burdensome regulations are removed from industry, the door is opened for REAL competition — and the free-market is able to deliver a higher-quality product at a lower price for the consumer."
In 2019, Mace sponsored the Compassionate Care Act, a piece of legislation which would legalize medical marijuana for individuals with certain medical ailments in "a capsule or an oil or other edible format for medical purposes only." Mace has stated that, "I am a proponent of legalizing marijuana...Also ensuring that, ya' know, our banking system and businesses are recognized as a business and taxes are collected in those states that decide to have it." Mace has received a B- rating from NORML.
MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION
Mace introduced H4329, an unsuccessful bill that would allow tenants who have suffered sexual assault, abuse or stalking to terminate a rental agreement within 60 days of the documented incident without penalty. See Veterans Health section for more on mental health.
VETERANS HEALTH CARE
During her time in the South Carolina House, Mace sponsored HB 3438, which established a State Department of Veterans Affairs. Mace has stated that, "We need to make sure our Veterans are given not only incredible care for physical health but their mental health, too. The system needs a complete overhaul or at the very least a significant upgrade to its mental health and addiction services." She supports Veterans having access to health care services outside of the VA health system. Mace's father is a retired U.S. Army General.
Mace is pro-life with allowable exceptions. During her time in the South Carolina legislature, Mace consistently voted against funding for Planned Parenthood, sponsored H3779, the South Carolina Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, and voted in favor of the Fetal Heartbeat Bill in 2019. Mace did speak out in favor of an amendment to the Fetal Heartbeat Bill which would allow for exceptions for cases involving rape and incest, citing her personal experience with sexual assault, having been raped when she was 16 years old and sexually assulted when she was 14. Mace stated, “For a woman who’s been through that kind of trauma, I think that choosing an abortion could be equally traumatic — but I’m not going to take that decision away from her.” During the time when Mace was speaking in favor of the amendment, fellow South Carolina State Rep. Josiah Magnuson placed a card on Mace's desk which said, "It is a twisted logic that would kill the unborn child for the misdeed of the parent,” and state Rep. Jonathon Hill said during Mace's remarks, “Why should the product of rape be blamed?” Mace responded to the two lawmakers saying, “I’m beginning to think some of you believe every woman who’s raped lies about being raped,” and “I don’t think rape or incest is a partisan issue...A rapist is not a father.”
Mace was the lead sponsor of a successful bill (H3967) to improve the treatment of female inmates, restricting the use of restraints on the leg, waist or ankle of pregnant inmates and new mothers during recovery and allowing skin-to-skin contact with their new baby. It also ensured that all correctional facilities offer sufficient menstral hygiene products at no cost, that bodily inspections by male police officers were only allowable in limited curcumstances and that minor and dependent visits must be authorized for low and minimum security inmates at least once a week.
OTHER HEALTH CARE ISSUES
Mace introduced a successful resolution (H3647) recognizing May as "Myalgic Encephalomyelitis" Awareness Month. Myalgic encephalomyelitis is commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome.
Mace was an original co-sponsor of H4147, an unsuccessful bill that would allow for the presumption that certain diseases sustained by firefighters are occupational diseses for the purposes of workers compensation.
While in the State Legislature, Mace filed unsuccessful legislation (H3823) to remove regulations requiring a state agency to approve the building or expansion of any health care facility.
Mace supports "lifting the age cap on catastrophic insurance plans, allowing professionals to make use of their training and certifications whether they’re doctors, nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants, or pharmacists, and ... implementing better accountability in the pharmaceutical supply chain."
Mace has stated that the growth of Medicare and Medicaid is a significant problem and the answer is for the federal goverment to "loosen its grip on our health care decisions. Needless taxes and penalties stand in the way of getting South Carolinians the health care and insurance they deserve."
DID YOU KNOW?
Mace is the first woman to have graduated from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, and is the author of “In The Company of Men: A Woman at The Citadel,” a memoir detailing her experiences at the school.