It's official: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) will face a Tea Party challenger in 2014.
A spokesperson for Republican Nancy Mace, who is already being billed as a Tea Party favorite, confirmed to TheBlaze on Thursday that she plans to challenge Graham for his Senate seat in the 2014 Republican primary. She plans to make a "special announcement" about her run at the Berkeley County GOP Breakfast on Saturday.
The spokesperson said the campaign will be releasing more information and Mace will be doing interviews following the formal announcement.
Mace is the first woman to graduate from The Citadel, a military college in the Palmetto State. She is also a wife, mother and small business owner from Goose Creek, S.C. According to her campaign website, she is the proud daughter of retired Army Brigadier Gen. Emory Mace.
“I believe we need a credible candidate who can challenge Graham. Someone who can bring together the liberty movement, the tea party, those who covet our Second Amendment rights and the right to life, those who want to see greater economic freedom and prosperity brought to our nation through individual liberty and the free market," Mace previously told TheLibertyPaper.org.
"We need someone who believes in constitutional principles. We need someone who will not believe increasing taxes are suitable while ignoring out of control spending," she added. "What we are doing in Washington today is clearly not working. I am flattered by all of the attention. This is David vs. Goliath and it will take conservatives from across the movement to be successful."
Tea Party and libertarian-leaning conservatives have not been shy about voicing their discontent with Graham and his voting record. He has been roundly criticized for supporting the "Gang of Eight" amnesty bill, NSA spying and drone strikes, among other positions.
FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe in May said Graham "could be replaced with someone worthy of that seat." He also observed that he was "begging for a primary" when he attacked Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) over his filibuster defending civil liberties and drones.
Glenn Beck, a very harsh critic of Graham, recently vowed to give any credible candidate who challenged the senator "whatever you need to defeat Lindsey Graham." Beck also called Graham a "nightmare" and an "embarrassment" to South Carolina.
Beck's co-host and executive producer, Stu Burguiere, has routinely labeled Graham the "worst" senator in the U.S. Senate.
It's way too early to tell if Mace will be able to generate enough grassroots support to beat Graham in 2014, but given the obvious demand for a challenger in the race, she certainly is off to a good start. Visit her official campaign Facebook page here.
"Republicans in the state have also eyed libertarian state Sen. Lee Bright (R-Roebuck) as another potential challenger to Graham," the Huffington Post notes.