McMaster, Cunningham make final pitches to voters before Election Day

Voters will have a choice between Republican incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster, Democrat Joe Cunningham and Libertarian Bruce Reeves.
Published: Nov. 7, 2022 at 9:37 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 7, 2022 at 9:41 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - Americans will head to the polls for the country’s midterm elections Tuesday, and at the top of the ballot for South Carolinians, voters will be determining who leads the state for the next four years as governor.

They will have a choice between Republican incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster, Democrat Joe Cunningham, and Libertarian Bruce Reeves.

Months of campaigning and crisscrossing the state wrapped up Monday, as the candidates held their final rallies before polls open Tuesday morning.

McMaster, seeking re-election for a second full term, said he will continue the work he’s done since taking office in 2017, highlighting tax cuts, raises for teachers and law enforcement, and billions of dollars going toward infrastructure and road fixes just in the last year during his stump speeches.

“We don’t realize how good we have it. These businesses all around the world are looking to us to invest hundreds of millions of billions of dollars,” McMaster told the crowd at a rally in Greenville on Monday.

His Democratic challenger, former Lowcountry Congressman Joe Cunningham, contends McMaster is holding the state back but said he will be the one to lead it into the future.

Cunningham is vowing to legalize sports betting and medical marijuana, protect abortion access, and eliminate the state income tax, not just lower it.

“No offense to Gov. McMaster, but if he wanted to get something done, he should’ve done it in his last 40 years in politics,” Cunningham told reporters after a rally Saturday in Columbia.

If he is re-elected and serves the entirety of a second full term, McMaster would become the longest-serving governor in state history.

“We’ve got the greatest people in the whole world. What we have to be sure to do is our government allows our people to flourish,” he said.

Cunningham, meanwhile, is seeking not just to unseat an incumbent but to become the first Democrat elected to statewide office in South Carolina in 16 years and the first Democratic governor elected since 1998.

“This will not be an easy fight, just like it was in 2018,” he said, referring to when he flipped a Congressional seat Republicans had held since the 1980s. “But great things like that aren’t easy.”

As for Election Day plans, McMaster will be voting Tuesday morning in Columbia before ending the night at his watch party in the capital city.

Cunningham voted early, so before his watch party Tuesday night in Charleston, he said he plans to visit polling places and maybe get in a run.

Reeves will be holding an election night watch party in Columbia on Tuesday as well.