COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Governor Henry McMaster (R) and former U.S. Congressman Joe Cunningham (D) will meet Wednesday night in their first and only gubernatorial debate.
Wednesday night’s debate will be televised on SCETV live from Columbia beginning at 7:00 p.m. Click here to watch.
Some of the most important issues South Carolina voters hope the two candidates will discuss include abortion rights, education, public safety, and the economy when they face off in Columbia.
Cunningham has focused his campaign on abortion rights, legalizing marijuana across the state, addressing the teacher shortage, and gun violence prevention while McMaster has centered his campaign around banning abortions, protecting South Carolina’s environment, and efforts to bring new jobs and investments to the state.
Both candidates have lobbed at times comical jabs at one another throughout the election cycle, with the McMaster campaign setting its sights on TikTok videos from Cunningham aimed at younger voters.
The campaign even used the term to call out its opponent on issues important to the race. “Tik-Tok, Tik-Tok: Where is Joe Cunningham’s Campaign Finance Report,” the campaign said in an October 25 news release focused on the Democrats’ finance reporting.
But with only one scheduled debate ahead of the November 8 general election, the two campaigns traded barbs over a lack of face-to-face debate. Joe Cunningham held an event in early October – alongside a chicken named “Henrietta” – claiming the governor had been “ducking debates” as he phrased it.
“The reason we don’t trust our politicians is because they fail to show up,” Cunningham said. “They’re chicken. They hide behind TV ads and refuse to thoroughly debate their opponent on the merits of the issues.”
But McMaster’s campaign fired back calling the event a “total joke” and recalled attempts from Cunningham’s former opponent to set up a series of debates leading into the June primary election.
“Joe Cunningham must have forgotten that in this very year he repeatedly refused to debate his trailblazing primary opponent until the Friday before the election,” the McMaster-Evette campaign said in a statement. “The last refuge of a desperate, failing, unserious candidate is hypocrisy and name calling, and Joe is on the run.”
Early voting is currently underway across South Carolina. The general election will take place on Tuesday, November 8.