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Bennettsville native, state senator officially announces run for S.C. governor

Published: Jun. 3, 2021 at 1:17 PM EDT
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BENNETTSVILLE, S.C. (WMBF/AP) – Bennettsville native and state Sen. Mia McLeod officially announced her 2022 bid for governor of South Carolina.

With her announcement, McLeod has become the first Black woman in the state to run for the office.

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

McLeod said she can win because she knows how to connect with voters from all political backgrounds and walks of life.

“For generations, my family has chosen to stay here, because when you love our state as much as we do, you’re able to look beyond her challenges, to see her possibilities, and fight like hell to help her reach her true potential,” she said during Thursday’s announcement.

The candidate went on to say that, “because of decades of desertion and neglect,” many of South Carolina’s “best and brightest” are being lost to neighboring states with higher-paying jobs and a better quality of life.

McLeod said Republicans like Gov. Henry McMaster have failed to lead the state, only care about their base and have no real connection to or compassion “for the rest of us.” She noted that’s the reason she first ran for office.

“I’ve been fighting the status quo for 10 years and I’m still fighting,” McLeod said.

She told the group of supporters gathered Thursday for her announcement that the notion must be rejected that S.C. will always be “a divided red state.”

At the end of her remarks, chants of “Mia! Mia! Mia!” came from the crowd.

McLeod cites education and health care as topics among her chief campaign concerns.

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