South Carolina Sen. Mia McLeod Becomes First Black Woman to Run for Governor as She Launches 2022 Campaign

Casting herself as the Democratic Party’s best hope for unseating Republican incumbent Henry McMaster and rolling back decades of GOP control over state government, state Sen. Mia McLeod became the latest contender to jump into the 2022 race for South Carolina governor.

If elected, McLeod would be South Carolina’s first Black chief executive and the first Black woman to serve as a governor in U.S. history. The 52-year-old Columbia lawmaker was first elected to the S.C. House in 2010 before winning a seat in the S.C. Senate in 2016.

She will compete for the Democratic nomination against at least two other candidates. Former U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham of Charleston launched his campaign in April and began a statewide tour of all 46 counties. Democratic activist Gary Votour has also said he is running.

Flanked by supporters outside the Modjeska Simkins House, the historic Columbia home for 60 years of the late civil rights activist and public health worker, McLeod recalled at her June 3 kickoff how she used to visit the site with her father when she was in college to talk “about the struggle and the challenges facing people of color.”

“She fearlessly and unapologetically fought for racial equality and advanced the causes of working people and those who were underrepresented so that they, too, would have a voice and a reason to hope for a brighter South Carolina,” McLeod said.

“I had no idea then that Ms. Modjeska’s causes would one day become my own,” she added.

McLeod encouraged South Carolina Democrats, who have traditionally nominated relatively moderate White men and then fallen short in recent gubernatorial contests, to try a different tact for the 2022 race.

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SOURCE: The Post & Courier, Jamie Lovegrove

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