Swelling the ranks for freedom: Newly elected congressman set to join House Freedom Caucus
Ralph Norman victory night

Freedom Caucus prepares to welcome another TRUE conservative

Posted June 21, 2017 10:45 AM by Chris Pandolfo Ralph Norman victory night
Republican Ralph Norman and his wife, Elaine, right, greet supporters at a campaign party in Rock Hill, S.C., on June 20, 2017. Chuck Burton | AP Photo
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The House Freedom Caucus has gained another potential ally with the addition of Ralph Norman, R-S.C., to the ranks of Congress.

Norman won the special election in South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District Tuesday to fill the seat vacated by Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. The race was closer than expected, but Norman defeated his Democratic opponent, Archie Parnell, 51 – 48.

"It's time to govern. It's time to get things done. It's time to go to work," Norman said in his victory speech to a large crowd gathered at the Magnolia Room in Rock Hill, S.C.

"Folks, tomorrow and together we're going to start anew," he said. "What Washington desperately needs now are citizen legislators that are dedicated to leading a free people and to maintain our [G]od-given right to the pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Norman has pledged to join the House Freedom Caucus after he is sworn into office. Though membership in the caucus – which keeps the identities of its members secret – is by invitation only, Freedom Caucus spokeswoman Alyssa Farah tweeted congratulations to Norman and said, “The Freedom Caucus looks forward to working with you!”

A true fiscal conservative, Ralph Norman was elected to the S.C. House of Representatives in 2005. During his tenure as a state lawmaker, Norman earned a reputation for bucking state party leadership and opposing, on conservative principles, bills supported by bipartisan majorities.

In February, he resigned his seat in the state House to run for the seat vacated by Freedom Caucus alumnus Mick Mulvaney in the U.S. House. He said at the time that he wanted to “save the taxpayers $25,000 to $55,000” by resigning his seat so that a special election to fill it would be held at the same time as the congressional special election.

In the Republican primary, Norman was endorsed by the conservative Club for Growth and by Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, while the GOP establishment backed his primary opponent, Tommy Pope.

Declaring victory Tuesday night, Norman pledged himself to a conservative agenda.

"I think now is the time to get government off the backs of business. Now is the time to enforce the 10th Amendment, to give state's rights back. Now is the time to get our fiscal house in order, folks," Norman said. "Now is the time to put faith back in the political arena."

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Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.