COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – State Senator Mia McLeod on Tuesday challenged former Congressman Joe Cunningham to participate in a debate ahead of the June 14 primary.

Both McLeod and Cunningham are vying for the Democrat party’s support in their run for governor against incumbent Henry McMaster in the fall.

“I’m ready to debate Joe Cunningham immediately. I’m sure he, like any serious candidate, will agree that the people of South Carolina deserve to hear where we stand on the issues that matter most,” said State Senator Mia McLeod.

A debate scheduled for June 1st was “abruptly canceled” this week, according to McLeod. No other debate has been planned for the Democratic candidates as they work to become the party front runner.

“While my primary opponents and I have engaged in a number of caucus-sponsored online forums, they do not serve as a substitute for a professionally broadcasted and moderated, formal debate on the issues,” she said.

McLeod said the 2018 primary for South Carolina governor included three televised debates in April, May and June prior to the primary.

“Those debates, filmed at Furman University, Clemson University, and the University of South Carolina in front of full auditoriums, allowed the voting public the opportunity to observe the distinctions between the candidates prior to casting their votes,” said McLeod.

Both McLeod and Cunningham appeared – separately – on News 2’s ‘2 the Point’ in May, where both candidates talked about their platforms and the issues facing South Carolinians.

Early voting in South Carolina began Tuesday. The primary will be held on June 14.