South Carolina is holding primary elections for gubernatorial and state legislative offices on Tuesday. Polls close at 7 p.m. ET.
The races & the stakes:
Several candidates are competing in a competitive Democratic primary to take on Republican Gov. Henry McMaster in the fall.
The leading candidates are former Rep. Joe Cunningham, who represented the Lowcountry-based 1st Congressional District for one term in Congress, and State Sen. Mia McLeod, a longtime state lawmaker who represents parts of Kershaw and Richland counties.
McLeod’s campaign platform includes raising the minimum wage, creating jobs, and investing in and improving the state’s education system.
Cunningham’s platform emphasizes expanding Medicaid, raising the minimum wage, investing in infrastructure, and legalizing recreational marijuana and sports betting to boost South Carolina’s economy.
The Democratic primary took on a nasty and personal note, however, when a Twitter feud broke out between McLeod and Democratic state Rep. Todd Rutherford, a fellow Richland County lawmaker and the House minority leader. This came after Rutherford snubbed McLeod by endorsing Cunningham.
“Good ole Todd endorses Joe bc I refuse to appoint his unqualified new wife as a Richland Co Magistrate,” McLeod tweeted in response to Rutherford’s endorsement of Cunningham. “Now he can go back to barely holding on as minority leader, funding his mom in law’s nonprofit w/state $$ & using the state plane as his personal vehicle.”
Rutherford accused McLeod of having “attacked” a Black woman in opposing his wife’s bid to become Richland County Magistrate.
McLeod retorted with a jab at Rutherford’s personal life, tweeting: “Next time, you probably shouldn’t cheat w/and marry the babysitter. How’s that for disrespecting black women?”
—Mia McLeod (@MiaforSC) June 7, 2022
“I don’t want @MiaForSC‘s personal attacks to distract from her record as a legislator,” Rutherford later tweeted. “In 12 years, only 3 bills she sponsored became law. 2 of them were for commemorative license plates.”
The other Democrats running in the primary are William Williams, Carlton Boyd, and Calvin McMillan. Whichever candidate wins the Democratic primary will face a strong uphill battle to unseat McMaster in Republican-leaning South Carolina.