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SC congresswoman Nancy Mace's chief of staff and campaign manager resigns

Mara Mellstrom.jpg

Campaign manager Mara Mellstrom (left) arrives with Nancy Mace outside a Waffle House where supporters gathered Nov. 4, 2020, in Ladson after she defeated Joe Cunningham in the 1st Congressional District race. File/Grace Beahm Alford/Staff

U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace's chief of staff and campaign manager has resigned after helping the Charleston Republican flip South Carolina's 1st Congressional District back to GOP control. 

Mara Mellstrom resigned this week, according to Mace's office. Dan Hanlon, the deputy chief of staff and legislative director, will take over as acting chief of staff. His transition becomes permanent Jan. 1.

"This has been in the works for some time," Hanlon said. "Mara Mellstrom will be beginning a new opportunity in the private sector in the new year. Congresswoman Mace thanks her for her two incredible years of service."

Mellstrom could not immediately be reached for comment. 

Within moments of Mace's victory getting called in the wee hours of election night last year, she turned to Mellstrom and posed the question she had refrained from asking in the weeks leading up to that day, worried about jinxing the outcome of the race.

“You’re coming to D.C. with me, right?” Mace asked.

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At just 30 years old, Mellstrom was among the younger chiefs of staff on Capitol Hill. More than 80 percent of chiefs of staff and deputy chiefs of staff in the U.S. House are older than 32, according to a 2019 congressional study, and a majority of them are men.

The two had a publicly close relationship that was present during the campaign and carried over to Washington. 

A Breitbart news article said the resignation was amid Mace's Twitter feud with other conservatives, including Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, but Hanlon said the headline was "categorically false" and that Mellstrom's resignation was in the works. 

Mellstrom's resignation is the highest profile departure from Mace's Washington office since the Charleston Republican took office. Five other staff members have either resigned or been fired since January. 

Reach Thomas Novelly at 843-937-5713. Follow him @TomNovelly on Twitter. 

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