• WIS News 10

In days before election, Cunningham pledges bipartisan cabinet if elected SC governor

The men hoping to lead South Carolina for the next four years will be crisscrossing the state this weekend, making their final pitches to voters before Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

One of them, former Democratic Congressman Joe Cunningham, is making a new promise: If he wins, he will offer half his cabinet seats to Republicans.

The announcement comes just four days before the election from a Democrat in a state where a Democrat has not won statewide office in 16 years.

Cunningham denies this is a campaign stunt and said he had a bipartisan record in Congress and even hired Republicans to work in his office during his one term on Capitol Hill, so he contends this is his proven track record.

“Our state is very diverse, and I want my administration to be a reflection of that, and I’m not just talking about economically, racially, whatever, but I’m talking about diversity of thought, and I want to be surrounded by people who challenge me,” Cunningham said in an interview.

The governor’s cabinet is made up of more than a dozen appointed leaders of state departments, such as the Department of Social Services and the Department of Corrections.

As opposed to the president’s cabinet at the federal level, the South Carolina governor does not select the heads of other major state agencies, including the secretary of state and attorney general, who is independently elected by voters.

Cunningham’s new pledge comes in addition to previous promises he made to fill half these posts with women and minorities.