CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – After weeks of dropping hints on social media, former South Carolina Congressman Joe Cunningham on Sunday officially launched his bid for the governor’s seat.

Shortly before midnight on April 26, Cunningham’s campaign website went live. He also updated his cover photo on his social media pages to reflect his latest venture.

Cunningham previously filed paperwork necessary to begin campaigning, but had not yet confirmed the news.

The official word came via press release Monday morning.

“The challenges we face aren’t because of our people, they’re because of our politicians,” said Cunningham in an announcement video. “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.”

Cunningham says his 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.

He is “also taking a pledge as Governor to not raise taxes on South Carolinians,” according to the announcement.

If Cunningham wins the Democratic party’s nomination, he will face incumbent Governor Henry McMaster in 2022.

Cunningham was elected to represent South Carolina’s First Congressional District in 2018 after defeating Republican Katie Arrington – he served one term before losing a re-election bid against State Rep. Nancy Mace in 2020.

Since then, Cunningham has launched a podcast, ‘Joint Resolution,’ and has been campaigning at events across the state.

Cunningham will begin a 46-county tour with a campaign kickoff event in Charleston on the evening of Wednesday, April 28th at Tradesman Brewing Company, where he’ll deliver a speech on his vision for South Carolina.