The South Carolina State House

Once again this legislative session, conservative members of the SC General Assembly are attempting to restrict abortion in the state. A bill that would ban almost all abortions is being fast tracked in the State Senate. In past years abortion bills have been derailed in the upper chamber. But this session, with a new, stronger Republican majority, supporters hope to finally be able to pass the bill and send it to the House where it has passed before.

Biden Vaccination Plan

Jan 15, 2021
graphic of the White House
Caroline Amenabar/NPR, Stephen Melkisethian/Flickr

Today at 3:45 p.m. President-elect Joe Biden is outlining his COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan in Wilmington, Del. Biden has been critical of the current administration's effort and is seeking to speed up the process. The announcement comes a day after Biden proposed a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. Watch his remarks live, here...

Members of the South Carolina House of Representatives taking their oaths of office last month.
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

    This year’s session of the S.C. General Assembly got underway this week with one member describing it as "a session not like any other."  Most lawmakers wore masks as the lingering COVID pandemic altered many time-honored legislative traditions.  Adding to the unusual atmosphere at the Statehouse, were extra state police manning posts in and around the building following last week’s insurrection in Washington.  Neither the House or Senate will meet next week during the Presidential inauguration.

U.S. Capitol building
Liam James Doyle/NPR

Members of Congress reconvened on Wednesday evening to continue the process of certifying President-elect Joe Biden's White House win, hours after violent insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol, forcing party leadership to evacuate the scene while rioters overtook the complex. Watch the proceedings here, live...

"N" is for the New Era Club. Founded in Spartanburg in 1912, the New Era Club existed for only a short while, but served as the nucleus of South Carolina's first statewide women's suffrage organization. White and middle class in its make-up, the club began disguised as a study group.

On this special episode of the South Carolina Lede for December 22, 2020, host Gavin Jackson and producer A.T. Shire discuss their holiday plans, look back on the year with a special guest, listen to your voicemails and much more!

Prisma Health staff cheer as healthcare workers transport the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine in the Columbia hospital on December 15, 2020.
Prisma Health

This episode of the South Carolina Lede for December 20, 2020, features: a remembrance of South Carolina political heavyweight Don Fowler, who passed away this week; an update on the state's economic recovery; perspective from frontline workers at Prisma Health on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout; and more.

Congresswoman-Elect Nancy Mace Heads to Washington

Nov 22, 2020
Nancy Mace elected to serve 1st congressional district 2020.
Mace Campaign

Fresh off an appearance with Fox News, Republican Congresswoman-elect Nancy Mace talks to us by phone as she heads to Washington, D.C. for orientation to serve South Carolina's first congressional district.

"It still feels a little surreal," says Mace.  "We made possible what so many said was going to be impossible to do."

Democratic Congressman Joe Cunningham says he will support Republican Nancy Mace in her transition.  She defeated him in the 1st congressional district race.  Cunningham conceded Friday on the steps of the U.S. Custom House in Charleston.
Victoria Hansen/ SC Public Radio

Democratic Congressman Joe Cunningham stood on the steps of the U.S. Custom House in Charleston Friday where he first announced his campaign for the 1st congressional district three years ago.  Only this time, he offered his support to Republican challenger Nancy Mace who claimed victory two days earlier.

His team said they wanted to wait to concede until all the ballots were counted.  The congressman knows what it's like to wrap up a tight race.  He's been there before.  As he spoke, a divided nation anxiously awaited results in a razor thin presidential election.

Sen. Lindsey Graham celebrates after being elected for a fourth term on November 3, 2020, at the Pastides Alumni Center at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

Following his toughest political fight yet, long-time Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told supporters at a watch party in Columbia Tuesday night the victory was an answer to a lot of prayers.  He says he's grateful to have secured a fourth term in the U.S. Senate and he's never wanted the job more.

 Senator LIndsey Graham, left; challenger Jaime Harrison
SC Lede

Republican Lindsey Graham is seeking his fourth term in the U.S. Senate, and is facing the most serious challenge of his political career from Democrat Jaime Harrison, an African American attorney who has raised a national record of more than $100 Million.  Combined with Graham’s over $75 Million the race has become the most expensive Senate race ever in the country, and perhaps this year’s second most watched race behind the residential contest:

Their recent political ads have changed.  Democratic Congressman Joe Cunningham features his two year-old son Boone as music plays in the background.

"We teach our kids to respect others and find common ground.  But that's not what you see in Washington," the congressman says.

Republican challenger Nancy Mace appears from a Waffle House.

"I waited tables at the Waffle House and as a single mom I know every dollar counts," says Mace.

Early Voters Turn Out In Record Numbers Statewide

Oct 27, 2020
Absentee voters wait in line outside Seacoast Church in Mount Pleasant
Victoria Hansen/ SC Public Radio

From the Upstate to the Lowcountry, absentee or early voters are making their way to the polls in droves.  The state election commission estimates more than one million absentee ballots could be cast in South Carolina.

This episode of the South Carolina Lede for October 24, 2020, features a look at the security threats facing the November 3 election, what local officials in one county are doing to prevent any issues on Election Day, a discussion on the importance of rural broadband expansion, and more.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) holds a rally in Columbia, SC, on October 17, 2020. Both he and Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison have ramped up in-person events with less than two weeks to go until Election Day.
Gavin Jackson/SCETV

Leading up to the 2020 election, the South Carolina Lede is keeping you up to speed on what the candidates are saying on the campaign trail in the Palmetto State with these "Trail Bites" mini-episodes.

On this edition for the week of October 22, 2020, host Gavin Jackson is joined by The State's Maayan Schechter, The Post and Courier's Jaime Lovegrove, and The Associated Press' Meg Kinnard to discuss the latest on the US Senate race between incumbent Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison, the 1st and 2nd congressional district races, and more.