A dish best served cold? Nancy Mace faces ‘revenge’ from Speaker she helped ouster in primary race

A feud between Kevin McCarthy (left) and Nancy Mace continues as Mace heads into her primary on Tuesday (AP)
A feud between Kevin McCarthy (left) and Nancy Mace continues as Mace heads into her primary on Tuesday (AP)

Nancy Mace is coming to terms with the fact that revenge is a dish best served cold as she fends off a primary challenge from Kevin McCarthy — the former House Speaker that she helped oust last year.

Voters will cast their ballots on Tuesday in primary races across five states, including the Republican representative’s South Carolina House district.

Tuesday’s primary results will serve as a bellwether for the November presidential election. But they will also provide a chance for McCarthy, the former House Speaker, to seek political retribution against eight GOP defectors who sided with Democrats last October and got him kicked from his post.

Mace was part of the group known as the “Gaetz eight”, and McCarthy, who has retired from Congress, has since endorsed her primary opponent.

“It’s about revenge,” Mace told NBC News on Monday. “It’s also about honesty and integrity. And my vote to oust Kevin McCarthy was about trust.”

Groups linked to McCarthy have been pouring money into supporting his defectors’ opponents across the states. Three of these groups spent $4m on ads against Mace, NBC News reported.

McCarthy has been backing the GOP primary challenger to Florida rep. Matt Gaetz, who also voted for his ouster.

The former House Speaker was asked on CNN last week whether he was on a “political vengeance tour” but denied the accusation.

Meanwhile, Mace’s primary rival, Catherine Templeton, told the Post and Courier last month that she “decided to run for Congress because of what she did,” meaning her vote against McCarthy.

Templeton, who served in former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley’s cabinet, confirmed that she asked McCarthy to help raise money for her.

In November, Rep Tim Burchett, fellow member of the “Gaetz eight,” told Newsmax that McCarthy was plotting to use $17m that he apparently had in his coffers to mess with “a lot of people like my and Nancy Mace’s campaigns, I’m sure.”