GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WCBD) – State Senator and gubernatorial candidate Mia McLeod (D), appeared in Georgetown on Monday to advocate for protecting infrastructure.

She called for the protection of the Liberty Steel Mill and dredging at the Port of Georgetown.

McLeod toured the steel mill and met with employees, who shared with her how vital the mill is in keeping residents employed. “Their love for this community and concern for the future of our state is undeniable,” McLeod said. “They understand that high-quality jobs that pay living wages are vital to the health of our state’s economy, and the upward mobility of rural communities.”

She also noted that the mill is one of the few union jobs in South Carolina, providing an average salary of $87,520 to its roughly 65 employees, compared to the average $22,000 other workers in Georgetown make.

The mill would be able to expand operations and employ more workers if the Port of Georgetown was deepened to its “project depth” of 27 feet, according to McLeod. She pushed for the deepening, noting that it would also enable the Port of Georgetown “to relive the Port of Charleston of some record-level demand while increasing our South Carolina Ports Authority’s opportunities to increase revenue for our state.”

Liberty Steel announced in December 2021 that it would resume operations in early 2022 after being shut down for more than a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

McLeod announced her bid for SC governor in June 2021. She will face former U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham during the June 14 primary.