Charleston, SC - Former U.S. Representative Joe Cunningham (D-SC) officially launched his campaign for Governor of South Carolina on Monday. In a 3-minute announcement video, Cunningham decries the career politicians who have failed South Carolina on issues ranging from education to infrastructure and healthcare to voting rights.
“The challenges we face aren’t because of our people, they’re because of our politicians,” said Cunningham. “Henry McMaster has been a politician longer than I’ve been alive. His failures have held our state back for far too long. And after 20 years of trying the same thing, it’s time for something different - something new.”
Instead of focusing on helping our state get through the challenges of the last year, Cunningham says Governor McMaster and his allies in the legislature have been focused on everything else: abortion bans, making it harder to vote, and loosening our gun laws.
“Governor McMaster has spent the last year checking off his partisan wish list instead of tackling the real problems in our state,” Cunningham said. “South Carolina desperately needed a strong leader over the last year but all we had was a weak politician with messed up priorities.”
Cunningham’s priorities as governor will include expanding Medicaid, raising teacher pay and reinvesting in public education, fixing South Carolina’s roads, passing police reform, expanding voting rights, closing the Charleston gun loophole, tackling climate change, passing term limits for legislators, and raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour. Cunningham is also taking a pledge as Governor to not raise taxes on South Carolinians.
“For the last six years, Governor McMaster has been busy fighting culture wars when he should have been fighting for our schools and our roads,” said Cunningham. “He’s been more concerned with his next election than the next generation. But that’s what career politicians do - they worry more about themselves than the people they represent. And that’s why nothing ever gets done. In a Cunningham administration, people will come first, and politics will come last.”
Joe Cunningham made history in 2018 when he flipped a district that Donald Trump won by 13 points in 2016 and had been held by Republicans for forty years. That same year, he overperformed the Democratic nominee for Governor, James Smith, by 3.5 points in the First District. Smith ultimately won 46% of the vote statewide. In 2020, Cunningham narrowly lost his re-election bid by a single point in a district Donald Trump won by six points.
Cunningham will begin a 46-county tour with a campaign kickoff event in Charleston on Wednesday evening, April 28th at 6pm at Tradesman Brewing Company at 1647 King St Ext, Charleston, SC 29405. Cunningham will deliver a speech on his vision for South Carolina. The public and the media are invited to attend the outside event and masks will be required.