SOUTH CAROLINA
     Nov. 8, 2022 Governor                                      

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+Henry McMaster/Pamela Evette (R) i
988,501
58.04%
Joe Cunningham/Tally Parham Casey (D)
692,691
40.67%
Bruce Reeves/Jessica Ethridge (L)
20,826
1.22%
write-ins 1,174
0.07%

1,703,192

Registration:  3,379,089.  Ballots Cast:  1,718,626.
Plurality:  295,810 votes (17.37 percentage points).

 SC Election Commission



Notes: 
Gov. Henry McMaster (R), seeking a second full term, defeated former U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham (D) and M. Bruce Reeves (L) by a comfortable margin. 

McMaster carried 34 counties to 12 for Cunningham.  South Carolina is one of five states that still have straight ticket voting.  All statewide elected officials in South Carolina are Republicans.  The last Democratic governor, Jim Hodges, was elected in 1998 and served one term.  In 2020, Trump carried the state by
11.68 percentage points. 

McMaster was sworn in in Jan. 2017 after Gov. Nikki Haley took up the position of Ambassador to the United Nations, and he was elected to a full term in 2018.  He announced his re-election bid on Mar. 16, 2022 (>).  After easily winning the June 17 primary, McMaster and Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette formally filed for re-election on July 27.   If McMaster, who is 75 years old, competes his term he would become South Carolina's longest serving governor.

Cunningham was elected to Congress representing SC-1 in 2018 but narrowly lost to Nancy Mace in his 2020 re-election bid.  He started out working for five years as an ocean engineer, then earned a law degree and practiced law in Charleston.  Cunningham announced his candidacy on Apr. 26, 2021 (>) and held a kickoff rally in Charleston on Apr. 28 (>), starting a 46-county tour of the state.  More than a year later, he won the June 17, 2022 primary by a comfortable 25-point margin.  Cunningham announced Tally Parham Casey, an attorney and former fighter pilot, as his running mate on Aug. 1.

Reeves, a former pastor, was the gubernatorial nominee of the United Citizens Party in 2010 and 2014.  He ran with Jessica Ethridge, a mother and legal professional who is active in the Greenville County Libertarian Party.

Also of note, health care advocate and progressive activist Gary Votour (Lab.) was disqualified from the ballot in Aug. 2022.  Votour started his campaign seeking the Democratic nomination but formally withdrew from the Democratic primary on Feb. 1, 2022 and switched to run under the Labor Party banner, emphasizing the need for "a living wage of at least $15 per hour for all South Carolinians."  Votour tapped Harold Geddings III, who was a Labor Party candidate for Congress in SC-2 in 2014, as his running mate.  However, the South Carolina Democratic Party filed a late lawsuit challenging Votour's place on the ballot on the grounds that the Labor Party had not held a nominating convention by May 15 as required by law.  On Aug. 18 Circuit Judge Alison Lee ruled Votour would not appear on the ballot.
 
McMaster and Cunningham engaged in just one debate, on Oct. 26, hosted by South Carolina Educational Television (>).

Finance reports through Oct. 19 show the McMaster campaign raised $7.5 million, spent $5.4 million
and had cash on hand of $2.1 million. (>); by contrast, the Cunningham campaign raised $3.4 million raised, spent $3.1 million, and had $219,880 (>).
 
June 17 primaries
In the June 17 Republican primary, McMaster defeated Harrison Musselwhite ("Trucker Bob") by 83.3% to 16.7%. 
Several candidates vied for the Democratic nomination.   The lead challenger to Cunningham was State Sen. Mia McLeod, who announced her candidacy on June 3, 2021 (>), becoming the first Black woman to run for governor in the Palmetto State.  McLeod, a businesswoman from Bennetsville, was elected to the State House in 2010 and to the State Senate in 2016.  Cunningham, McLeod and Carlton Boyd debated SCETV on June 10 (>).  In the primary Cunningham (56.4%) defeated McLeod (31.1%), Boyd (5.3%), William Williams (3.7%) and Calvin McMillan (3.5%). 


Campaign Managers:
Henry McMaster:  Mark Knoop
(May 2021)  Owner of Forward Communications & Strategies (FCS)  in Columbia, SC since Jan. 2021.  Consultant at Victory Enterprises, Jan. 2015-Dec. 2020.  Director of Push Elections at Push Digital Inc., Apr. 2013-Jan. 2015.  Executive director of the Republican Party of New Mexico, June 2012-Jan. 2013. 
Campaign manager on Ronnie Cromer for SC Senate District 18, Feb.-June 2012; and direct mail writer/coordinator at Starboard Communications, Feb.-June 2012.  South Carolina state field director on Rick Perry for President, Aug. 2011-Jan. 2012.  Regional field director for the Missouri Republican Party June-Nov. 2010.  Communications director on Bob Livingston for Adjutant General, Jan.-June 2010.  Bachelor's degree in political science from University of South Carolina, Columbia, 2010.  Interned with the SC Republican Party (Fall 2009) and the Romney for President campaign in South Carolina (Aug. 2007-Jan. 2008).

Joe Cunningham:  Trevor Maloney
(Sept. 2021)  Campaign manager on Vega for District Attorney (Philadelphia), Jan.-Mar. 2021.  Southern regional political director on Everytown for Gun Safety, Feb.-Dec. 2020.  Campaign manager on Delaware County Victory 2019 (Pennsylvania), June-Nov. 2019.  Campaign manager on Jamie for West Philly, Feb.-May 2019.  Campaign manager on Steve Santasiero for State Senate, Feb.-Dec. 2018.  English teacher in China, Feb.-Sept. 2017.  Political assistant on Patrick Murphy for U.S. Senate campaign, July-Nov. 2016.  Studied international relations, international law and music competition at University College Roosevelt (Middelburg, PA).  Also, summer organizing fellow in West Palm Beach on Organizing for America, June-Aug. 2012.

Bruce Reeves:  Kasie Whitener
Managing partner of Clemson Road Consulting in Columbia from Feb. 2012.  Lecturer at the Darla Moore School of Business since Dec. 2017.   Creator and host of Write on SC from Aug. 2018. Business process analyst (June 2011-May 2012), change management coordinator (June 2005-Aug. 2011) and account executive (Sept. 2006-2007) at SYNNEX.  Ph.D in organizational management and leadership from Capella University, 2013; B.A. in English from Winthrop University, 2004.


See also:
Rey Llerena.  "Cunningham, McMaster debate about debates in SC governor's race."  WIS-TV, Oct. 6, 2022.

David Travis Bland.  "SC Democrats take a page from GOP playbook and stomp on democracy with court case."  The State, Aug. 23, 2022.  [editorial]

Joseph Bustos.  "SC can prepare November ballots without Labor Party candidates, judge rules."  The State, Aug. 18, 2022.

Stratton Lawrence.  "In South Carolina, race and gender animate Democratic gubernatorial primary."  Washington Post, June 14, 2022.


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