Dem looking to unseat Mace hopes Supreme Court upholds ruling in gerrymandering case

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 10:41 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 18, 2023 at 11:41 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - It’s a little less than a month away from the Supreme Court making a decision on South Carolina’s gerrymandering case in the First Congressional District. It comes after federal judges said the district was intentionally drawn in a way to discriminate against black voters.

In January, a panel of three judges ruled the district, which includes parts of Charleston, Colleton, Berkeley, Beaufort and Jasper counties, is an unconstitutional racial gerrymander and was purposely drawn by Republican legislature following the 2020 census in a way to exclude more than 30,000 Black voters.

Democratic candidate Mac Deford, who is looking to unseat Republican Congresswoman Nancy Mace, agrees the maps show clear gerrymandering and thinks it’s ridiculous the state of South Carolina is challenging it to begin with.

“That’s where they cut the 30,000 African American voters out essentially silencing their voices and our democratic process,” Deford says. “It’s something that Nancy Mace has benefitted from. She benefitted from it heavily last year. I think it’s equally as disturbing that she’s not denouncing it. I believe that regardless of your political affiliation, or whether it helps you or hurts you, when you are in a position of public trust that you should be standing up for the right thing and that’s what integrity is all about.”

He says South Carolina has a lot of work to do.

“I think, in a lot of ways, we’re going backwards in time to sort of a past that will not die,” Deford says. “We saw these types of tactics employed much more overtly during the 1960s and we’re almost going back to that time. I think it’s arrogant almost of the state to be appealing this to the Supreme Court when it’s just so blatant how racially gerrymandered this district was.”

Deford also had a word for Governor Henry McMaster and state legislators.

“Reject any maps that are racially gerrymandered,” Deford says. “Something as blatant and obvious as this - I think it’s something that we, as a society, I think that ordinary people look at that and see that it’s wrong. I think the state legislators who supported this racial gerrymandering are not listening to the constituents that they serve.”

Representative Mace gave Live 5 this statement on the matter that reads “Congresswoman Mace has consistently been an independent voice for the Lowcountry since she took office in 2021. She will continue to deliver results no matter what the district looks like.”

The Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments for the case starting Oct. 11.