MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – With just weeks until the South Carolina primaries, the race for the Democratic Gubernatorial candidacy is expected to be a tight one.

News 2 sat down with two top candidates in the race, State Senator Mia McLeod and former Congressman Joe Cunningham.

Five Democratic candidates are hoping to go up against Governor Henry McMaster in November’s general election. Among those who have raised the most money are Cunningham and Senator McLeod, who each believe their vision is the best to move the palmetto state forward.

State Senator McLeod currently represents the state’s twenty-second district northeast of Columbia including portions of Greenville. Senator McLeod’s campaign is focusing on addressing the state’s teacher shortage, protecting women’s rights, and prioritizing South Carolina’s working-class population.

“Put working people at the top of our list of priorities because we have failed out working people across South Carolina,” says Senator McLeod. “I am the only candidate in South Carolina who not only believes that the hard-working people of South Carolina deserve a living wage of at least $15 an hour.”

Former Congressman Cunningham’s campaign says raising starting salaries for teachers is a high priority. If elected, he wants the profession to pay new teachers $50,000 a year by the end of his term as Governor. Cunningham says the state’s current leadership in Columbia has failed to move the state forward, it’s something he wants to change on day one if elected Governor.

“People understand that we are last in South Carolina in a lot of these areas whether it be roads or healthcare or the quality of our schools,” says Cunningham. “I mean teachers are leaving in droves. Pocket book issues, everything that’s happening with inflation right now, and also personal liberties and personal freedoms. We’re a state that appreciates all of those and again we have failed leadership at the very top.”

South Carolina’s primary elections will be held on June 14th. For our full conversation with Senator McLeod and former Congressman Cunningham, tune into this week’s episode of ‘2 The Point’ Sunday at 9:30 am.