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Joe Cunningham accepts South Carolina Education Association Endorsement in Governor's Race

Joe Cunningham announced Tuesday that he has accepted the endorsement of the South Carolina Education Association.

At a press conference in Columbia, Cunningham spoke about his plan to improve South Carolina's education system.

“It’s past time for South Carolina to have an education governor,” Cunningham said. “For too long, Governor McMaster has abandoned our schools and ignored our teachers. I will never turn my back on our teachers because you are worth everything, we can give you and then some. Last spring, my campaign released a plan to end the teacher shortage by making historic investments in South Carolina’s education system, starting with raising teacher pay.”

The SCEA President, Sherry East said, that the organization was proud to recommend Cunningham for governor.

"Joe has taken the time to center educator voices and the input of The SCEA at education roundtables, we know Joe is an authentic champion of public education,” East said.

After hearing the news of Cunningham's endorsement, McMaster's campaign issued a statement to ABC News 4.

"It is absolutely no surprise to see Joe Cunningham finally formalize an election-year deal with a union, instead of standing up for the best interests of children and parents - after Joe and the union both fought back against Governor McMaster's efforts to make sure students had the opportunity to learn in-person and parents the chance to get back to normal work routines as COVID subsided," said Mark Knoop, McMaster-Evette campaign manager. " Governor McMaster always fights for children and parents, just as he continues to fight for teachers and educator pay raises, rather than union interests."