S.C. Gov. hopeful and former U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham has officially filed for the upcoming Democratic primary election set for June 14, joining 5 other candidates as of March 23 for Gov. Henry McMaster’s seat.

Cunningham’s campaign announcement event brought supporters to Tradesman Brewing Co. Wednesday | Skyler Baldwin

Though he only officially filed today, Cunningham kicked off his campaign with a rally at Tradesmen Brewing Co. in North Charleston April 26, 2021, pointing to longstanding issues facing the state that McMaster has had time and opportunity to change, he said. “This pandemic amplified every shortcoming that exists in our state,” he said at the rally.

These sentiments haven’t changed.

“I’m running for governor to bring South Carolina out of the past and into the future,” Cunningham told City Paper. “Under a Cunningham administration, we will finally tackle the most pressing challenges facing our state that Columbia politicians and Henry McMaster have ignored for decades.

“We will raise teacher pay and improve our schools, protect voting rights, end corruption at the state house, fix our crumbling roads, legalize marijuana and make health care affordable and accessible to all,” he said. “If Henry McMaster couldn’t fix these problems throughout his forty year career in politics, he won’t fix them with another four. It’s time for new ideas and a new vision and I’m ready to help South Carolina reach its full potential.” 

Cunningham was ranked as having one of the most bipartisan voting records in Congress during his single term before he was unseated by U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace in 2020. Cunningham faces Republican incumbent McMaster, Democratic candidate Mia McLeod, Republican candidate Harrison Musselwhite, and Republican candidate Mindy L. Steele in the governor’s race.

Filing for the upcoming primary election closes March 30, and so far, 17 candidates have filed for state positions, and 28 candidates have filed for various positions in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties.

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