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  • Writer's pictureDavid M. Rubin


Updated: Jul 11, 2023

One of the two declared candidates intending to wrest away the First Congressional District House seat from Nancy Mace spoke to a large gathering of DCDP members at the monthly meeting on May 11.

Mac Deford, currently on leave as General Counsel for the Town of Hilton Head Island, strongly criticized Mace's performance and signaled his campaign will be a gloves-off challenge. He reinforced this on his website, saying that it's time to end Mace's "reality TV-style politics" and get back to sensible governance.

While Mace claims she puts the Low Country first in her voting record, Deford made it plain that she is concerned only with her wobbly political survival in the warring Republican Party.

Deford emphasized how out of step Mace is with the views of Low Country voters. For example, voters want sensible gun control measures, but Mace has opposed red flag laws and the creation of a national gun registry that would permit meaningful background checks.

Mace claims to be a champion of women and their effort to control their own reproductive health, but she has voted for a fetal heartbeat abortion ban in South Carolina and she cheered the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe. She is, in fact, no friend to women.

Deford has assembled a list of nearly 30 votes Mace has cast in Congress that are damaging to the Low Country. These include opposition to infrastructure spending; to expanded funding for access to mental health and substance use services; and to new wildfire preparedness and drought resiliency programs.

Deford sees huge cracks opening in Mace's political foundation. If Donald Trump is leading the Republican ticket in 2024, she will be forced to declare her stance on the disgraced, impeached, and indicted former President. Whatever that declaration is, it cannot help her politically in the First District.

Deford pledged to put at the top of his legislative agenda such issues as affordable housing, public safety, and expanded infrastructure to meet the challenges of climate change. He said he would work to flip the sad statistics that put South Carolina near the top in gun violence but at the bottom in the quality of public education.

Deford will be spending part of this summer and fall reaching out to minority communities, where voter turnout was low in 2022. To beat Mace, these communities must feel they have a stake in the success of his campaign. Deford's commitment to public service began on the day of the 9/11 attacks when he was in seventh grade. His father, an airline pilot, was in the sky that day. His mother, a former airline attendant, who used to staff United Flight #93 that was hijacked and crashed in Pennsylvania.

These very personal connections to 9/11 led him to enlist in the Coast Guard upon graduation from high school. He worked for the Coast Guard in law enforcement, search and rescue, and environmental protection.

After leaving the Coast Guard, he graduated from The Citadel on the GI Bill and then earned a law degree from Charleston School of Law.

Not only can Deford challenge Mace for the support of Citadel alumni, but he would be the ONLY Coast Guard veteran to be a member of Congress. Coast Guard vets, he said, will be an important local voting group for him.

For more, visit his campaign website:

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