AP report: Bennettsville native to make history as 1st Black woman to run for S.C. governor

State Sen. Mia McLeod, left, stands in the sanctuary of Shiloh Baptist, her family's church,...
State Sen. Mia McLeod, left, stands in the sanctuary of Shiloh Baptist, her family's church, talking with Rev. Coley Mearite, Tuesday, June 1, 2021, in Bennettsville, S.C. In her challenge of Gov. Henry McMaster, the Columbia Democrat is the first Black woman to seek South Carolina's top job.((AP Photo/Meg Kinnard))
Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 11:15 PM EDT
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BENNETTSVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Since the country’s founding, no Black woman has ever served as a governor in the United States. But South Carolina Democratic state Sen. Mia McLeod says she’s the person who can change that, despite the fact that Democrats haven’t been elected to a statewide office there in 15 years.

“I want to be the person that is running not because I’m a woman, and not because I’m Black, but because I am so connected to and so much like the people that I represent,” McLeod, a Columbia-area lawmaker, told The Associated Press ahead of Thursday’s official 2022 campaign launch. “It’s a tremendous responsibility, but it’s one that I’m excited about.”

McLeod, 52, spoke extensively with AP during a Tuesday tour of her hometown of Bennettsville, often home to one of the state’s highest unemployment rates. Asked about her top campaign concerns, McLeod cited education and health care, noting the area’s crumbling schools and lack of a hospital since 2015.

“I believe rural counties like mine are a microcosm for what’s happening statewide, when it comes to our rural communities that have been left behind,” she said, of her hometown, arguing that Republicans like Gov. Henry McMaster, in his first full term, had failed the state.

Two other Democrats have announced gubernatorial bids: activist Gary Votour and Joe Cunningham.

READ the AP’s full article here

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