Jun 3, 2021 - Politics & Policy

State senator becomes first Black woman to run for governor in South Carolina

Mia McLeod headshot.

South Carolina state Sen. Mia McLeod. Photo: S.C. Legislative Services Agency

South Carolina state Sen. Mia McLeod (D) became the first Black woman to run for the governor in the state after she announced her bid in the 2022 race on Wednesday.

Why it matters: A Black woman has never served as a governor in the U.S., though Democrats also haven’t been elected to a statewide office in South Carolina in 15 years, according to AP.

Context: McLeod was elected to South Carolina's House in 2010 and the state Senate in 2016.

  • She so far faces two other candidates for the Democratic nomination: activist Gary Votour and former U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham.
  • If she wins the primary, McLeod will likely face incumbent Republican Gov. Henry McMaster.

What they're saying: “I want to be the person that is running not because I’m a woman, and not because I’m Black, but because I am so connected to and so much like the people that I represent,” McLeod told the AP.

  • “It’s a tremendous responsibility, but it’s one that I’m excited about," she added.
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