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National Politics Plays A Role In South Carolina Election

VICTORIA HANSEN, BYLINE: And I'm Victoria Hansen in Charleston, S.C., where there was another election this Tuesday and national politics played a role. Forty-year-old Nancy Mace is now a state House representative and the first woman to lead her district. But firsts for her are nothing new. She was also the first woman to graduate from The Citadel, a once all-male military school.

NANCY MACE: I think people are sick and tired of politicians. I know I certainly am.

HANSEN: The commercial real estate agent is not new to politics. She took a swing at Senator Lindsey Graham's seat in 2014 and worked for Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

MACE: People are really angry in this country. Whether you're on the Republican side or the Democrat side, we're all passionate and angry about the same issues but for different reasons.

HANSEN: A year after Trump's election and during her own race, Mace found people still anxious for change. Her Facebook campaign featured a picture with the president, but did that photo op win her any votes?

MACE: I'm sure that it did in some part, that connection there, but I also ran on my own ideas, and I worked really hard.

HANSEN: Much of Mace's district is affluent, like her community on Daniel Island, adorned with egret-laced tidal creeks and marshes.

(SOUNDBITE OF EGRET CALLS)

HANSEN: That's where Bob Houghton scouts for dolphins. He voted for Mace and Trump.

BOB HOUGHTON: I don't necessarily approve of his ways, but I certainly was anti the person he ran against.

HANSEN: Nancy Benjamin is out for a walk and out of patience with Trump.

NANCY BENJAMIN: It's just a gridlock because he flip-flops all the time.

HANSEN: Tim Touchberry combs the beach, bucket in hand, for bottles and sharks' teeth. The low country native voted for Trump, hoping he'd shake up Washington. He's still hopeful.

TIM TOUCHBERRY: I still have to give him a fair mark but not a real high mark. He gets after it. And I’m not sure it’s always in the ways that everybody feels like he should.

HANSEN: For NPR News, I'm Victoria Hansen. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.