CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham on Monday launched a campaign against the proposed redistricting plan being considered at the State House. If adopted, opponents say the new maps would split Charleston in a way that disproportionately benefits republicans.
Cunningham said that the proposed plan is “gerrymandering at its worst.” He hopes that the Keep Charleston Together campaign will raise awareness about the issue.
“As the Republican Party continues to move to the far right and become the party of Donald Trump instead of Ronald Reagan, the most extreme people in our country are starting to win primaries. And without competitive general elections, it’s nearly impossible for them to lose in November. Competitive general elections and competitive districts provide an incredibly important check on that extremism.”
Among the areas that would be most impacted by the new map are the Lowcountry’s SC-01 — the district which Cunningham previously represented in the U.S. House, now held by Nancy Mace — and SC-06.
SC-01, which includes Charleston, has leaned more blue in recent years. Mace narrowly won the district in the 2020 election.
The new map would split Charleston County between SC-01 and SC-06. It would take the areas of West Ashley and Johns Island out of SC-01 and put them in a Columbia-based district, which Cunningham noted is over 100 miles away.
It would also split the Downtown peninsula between the two districts. Most of the peninsula would be in SC-06, with only the tip of the peninsula remaining in SC-01.
Cunningham described the redistricting plan as dividing Charleston County “into two districts — one for white residents and another for black residents.” He also said that the new boundaries would make it virtually impossible for republicans to lose.
The Keep Charleston Together campaign aims to educate voters and provide them with resources for making their voices heard.