MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Former congressman Joe Cunningham has won the democratic nomination for South Carolina Governor.
Cunningham defeated Mia McLeod, Carlton Boyd, Calvin CJ Mack McMillan and William Williams. He will face off against Gov. Henry McMaster in November.
“We want to usher in a new generation of leadership and new vision,” Cunningham told News13 Wednesday. “What this campaign is, it’s a campaign of new ideas versus no ideas.”
Cunningham has touted the fact that he is the only Democrat in the state over the past decade to flip a Republican seat in a major race, a win that got him one term in the U.S. House.
“This isn’t a race between left versus right or democrat versus republican,” he said. “This is going to be a race about old versus new, past versus future, last place versus first place.”
Citing his ideas and youthfulness, he also insists that he is the best positioned of all the candidates to beat McMaster in November. He has made big promises, including legalizing recreational marijuana use and sports gambling. The candidate has repeatedly highlighted the 35-year age gap between him and the governor. Cunningham is 40. McMaster is 75.
McMaster is running for a second four-year term. Prior to his first election, he ascended from his previous role of lieutenant governor to finish the final two years of former Gov. Nikki Haley’s term. If he wins and completes a second full term, it will make him the longest-serving governor in the state’s history. Haley resigned to take a job in then-President Donald Trump’s administration.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.