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Ex-US Congressman Cunningham Mounts Democratic Bid for SC Governor

Congressman-elect Joe Cunningham talks about plans to stop seismic blas testing off our cast at the federal courthouse in Charleston
Victoria Hansen
SC Public Radio
In this photo from 2018, then Congressman-elect Joe Cunningham talks about plans to stop seismic blast testing off of South Carolina's coast.

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Former Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham has announced he will vie for his party's nomination for the 2022 South Carolina governor's race.

Cunningham made his announcement to The Post and Courier on Sunday.

So far, he joins Democratic activist Gary Votour. The winner will face an uphill challenge to defeat Republican Gov. Henry McMaster. No Republicans have currently filed to take on the incumbent.

McMaster defeated Democrat James Smith in 2018 with 54 percent of votes cast. A Democrat hasn't been elected to a statewide office in South Carolina for 15 years.

In last year's U.S. Senate race, current Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison smashed national fundraising records in his challenge to U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Graham won by a double-digit margin.

Cunningham served one term in the U.S. House before losing his 2020 reelection bid to Republican Nancy Mace.