Horne considering parlaying flag fame into run for Congress

State Rep. Jenny Anderson Horne, R-Summerville, said she’s considering challenging U.S. Rep Mark Sanford for the Republican nomination in the 1st Congressional District race next year.

COLUMBIA — Fresh off creating a national news sensation with her tearful and angry jab at defenders of the Confederate flag, Summerville Republican state Rep. Jenny Horne says she is considering running for Congress next year.

“It’s a rumor, but I’ll consider it,” Horne said Tuesday. “I’m just taking my time. I’m just a little bit overwhelmed over everything that happened last week.”

Video of Horne’s impassioned plea during a marathon House debate over removing the Confederate battle flag from the Statehouse grounds last week went viral and made her a national figure. After her colleagues in the House spent hours debating amendments to a bill that called for the flag’s removal, Horne took to the podium frustrated and broke into tears.

She said anything less than removing the flag wold be an insult to the family of slain Lowcountry lawmaker Sen. Clementa Pinckney, the pastor of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, and the other victims. Pinckney and eight parishioners were killed at the historic black Charleston church June 17 during Bible study.

Dylann Roof, 21, of Eastover, has been charged with murder and attempted murder in the killings, which authorities have said was a racially motivated hate crime. Roof posted photos of himself holding a gun and a Confederate battle flag on a website espousing a racist diatribe.

After her speech, Horne said people started encouraging her to run for the 1st Congressional District seat — currently held by fellow Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford. She also said she wouldn’t rule out running for governor.

Horne was first elected to House District 94 in 2008.

Reach Cynthia Roldan at 708-5891.