Joe Cunningham to enter race for South Carolina governor

Former Democratic Rep. Joe CunninghamJoseph CunninghamJoe Cunningham to enter race for South Carolina governor Republicans race for distance from 'America First Caucus' Lobbying world MORE (S.C.) confirmed Sunday that he will announce a campaign for governor of South Carolina on Monday.

Cunningham first confirmed his bid to unseat GOP South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster in 2022 to The Post and Courier.

“I think the test of a true leader is whether or not you’ll be honest with people about the real challenges facing our state and have the backbone to actually fix them,” he told the outlet. “McMaster failed that test, but I won’t.”  


“I’ve been thinking about what kind of future I want my son and other children and grandchildren to have here in this state,” he continued. “I love this state and I will make sure that we’re living up to our God-given potential.”

He told the outlet that has considered running for the state office since last November.

Cunningham was elected to the U.S. House in 2018, flipping a district represented by Republicans for decades. He lost in 2020 to Rep. Nancy MaceNancy MaceVandalism at Rep. Mace's home sparks bipartisan outcry Rep. Nancy Mace says her home was vandalized by 'antifa symbols' Hillicon Valley: Facebook to resume some political donations | Microsoft says Russian hackers utilized email system used by USAID to target other groups | Senate confirms Biden's top scientist MORE (R-S.C.), sending the district back into Republican hands.

The former Democratic lawmaker told The Post and Courier that he has “a history of greatly over performing the top of the ticket and that’s what’s going take to win statewide.”

“We flipped a gerrymandered seat that voted for Donald TrumpDonald TrumpWhat blue wave? A close look at Texas today tells of a different story Democrats go down to the wire with Manchin Trump's former bodyguard investigated in NY prosectors' probe: report MORE by 13 points and it was called one of the biggest upsets in South Carolina’s history,” Cunningham said.

South Carolina GOP Chairman Drew McKissick told The Post and Courier after Cunningham filed preliminary campaign paperwork that Republicans in the state “say ‘bring it on.’”

“We expect to see the same result in 2022 as we did in 2018 — a Republican in the governor’s mansion,” McKissick told the outlet.