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(Yahoo News) Doug Brannon knows the blowback you can get for being a Southern Republican who doesn’t embrace the Confederate flag.
In the wake of the 2015 shooting at a historic Black church that killed nine people, including a state senator, Brannon, a state representative at the time, introduced the bill that would ultimately remove the Confederate flag from a monument at the South Carolina State House. The measure passed in both legislative chambers and was quickly signed into law by then-Gov. Nikki Haley.
While the move launched talk that Haley might one day run for president, Republicans like Brannon from hardcore conservative areas who backed the bill took a hit. Brannon was the first legislative Republican to join Democrats in calling to remove the flag. A year later, Brannon was primaried out of office.
In that same election, Wendy Nanney, a Republican from a less conservative neighboring district who voted against the measure, lost her seat — a sign the flag would continue to divide South Carolinians.
“She lost because she voted to leave the flag. I got beat because I voted to take it down,” said Brannon, an attorney from Spartanburg, South Carolina, the anchor city in a county where Trump won the 2016 primary and general election handily.
If Brannon’s fate revealed how ultra-conservative white Southerners feel about the Confederate flag, then…Nikki Haley Took A Stand Against The Confederate Flag. So Why Doesn’t She Want To Talk About It?