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'Stunned and grateful': Republican who beat Sanford credits Trump with win

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With hours left ahead of polls closed in her race to defeat incumbent Republican Rep. Mark Sanford, Katie Arrington were given a stunning textual content message from a chum: President Donald Trump had simply recommended her on Twitter.

“I used to be surprised and thankful,” she informed NBC Information, hours after squeaking out a wonder win within the GOP number one for South Carolina’s 1st Congressional district. “That tweet saved it from a runoff, certainly. We wanted the 50 p.c plus one and I am certain that that tweet put us in that realm.”

Image: South Carolina Rep. Katie Arrington campaigns after voting in the primary election
South Carolina Rep. Katie Arrington campaigns after vote casting in the principle election on June 12, 2018 at Bethany United Methodist Church in Summerville, South Carolina.Kathryn Ziesig / The Submit And Courier by means of AP

Arrington, 47, received with 50.6 p.c of the vote, in line with The Related Press, going from underdog number one challenger up towards an incumbent who had by no means misplaced an election to November favourite within the protected GOP district.

She is the most recent candidate to get pleasure from a wholehearted include of the president, a stance that made Trump’s endorsement in particular efficient as it showed her message to citizens all alongside: She wasn’t simply any Republican. She was once a Trump Republican.

“We’re the birthday party of President Donald J. Trump,” she mentioned in her victory speech Tuesday evening.

A primary-term state consultant who works for army contractors, she campaigned on conventional conservative bonafides, like being for decrease taxes and towards abortion, however maximum of her tv commercials inquisitive about pitching herself because the best friend Trump desires in Congress.

Sanford has been crucial of the president — Trump “fanned the flames of intolerance” and was once unprepared for the presidency, he mentioned in the past — and it gave his opponent considerable tv soundbites to splice in combination and paint him as disloyal.

“Mark Sanford and the occupation politicians cheated on us,” she mentioned in a single advert that alludes to Sanford’s notorious extra-marital affair. “Bless his center, however it is time for Mark Sanford to take a hike. For actual this time.”

With simply days left within the race, Sanford rolled out an advert of his personal insisting that he’d “overwhelmingly” voted with the president. However Arrington nonetheless received out.

Like Trump, she pledged to “drain the swamp.” She mentioned she would donate her congressional wage to charity (Trump donates his wage as president) and that she would restrict herself to 8 years in Washington (Trump has known as for congressional time period limits).

“I am best going to head, if they’re going to have me, 4 phrases,” she informed NBC Information. After that, she needs to take a yr to excursion the rustic in an RV along with her husband.

“Occupation objectives!” she mentioned.

Trump congratulated Arrington in a tweet on Wednesday, suggesting that he were discouraged from making an endorsement in a number one problem to a sitting Republican consultant, however could not face up to. The pair additionally spoke via telephone on Wednesday as neatly, Arrington mentioned in a Fb publish.

If she wins in November, Arrington can be South Carolina’s first Republican girl to be elected to federal place of work.

It is a first that can lend a hand spice up her birthday party in a midterm yr that has noticed Democratic girls run for place of work in droves, responding partially to a president who has been accused via greater than a dozen girls of sexual misconduct and who was once recorded in 2005 boasting about grabbing girls with out their consent.

The GOP has struggled to recruit as many ladies, and Arrington’s previous reports — dwelling paycheck-to-paycheck, running the evening shift at Denny’s, and beginning a daycare so she may just deal with her personal special-needs kid whilst running — prominent her within the race towards Sanford, a millionaire. At 47, she’s greater than a decade more youthful than the typical Area member, too.

Image: State Rep. Katie Arrington hugs supporters
State Rep. Katie Arrington hugs supporters after defeating U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford in North Charleston, South Carolina on June 12, 2018.Andrew Whitaker / The Submit And Courier by means of AP

“I am a troublesome employee and I stay my phrase,” she mentioned in a telephone interview after her number one victory. “That is going from the graveyard shift to Denny’s to the briefing rooms of the Pentagon and confidently to the halls of Congress.”

Requested if there was once any sunlight between her and the president at the problems, Arrington mentioned it was once unattainable for 2 other folks to agree on the whole lot (“I have been married,” she quipped), however mentioned that she would now not criticize the president within the press.

“I’m now not going to head on CNN to bash him,” she mentioned. “Now I’ve the rapport to head in and call him and feature a dialog.”

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