• Joe Cunningham

Joe Cunningham Pledges to Offer Half of all Cabinet Positions to Republicans

Democratic nominee for Governor Joe Cunningham announced on Thursday his intention, if elected, to offer half of all cabinet positions to Republicans. Cunningham says that despite who wins the governor’s race, the executive branch should not be run entirely by one party.

“This is an incredibly diverse state - racially, politically, economically - and state government should represent that diversity,” said Cunningham. “When I’m governor, I don’t want to surround myself with people who agree with me on everything. I want to be challenged and hear from all sides before making the best decisions for our state. A bipartisan cabinet is one of many ways we can do that.”

Cunningham has previously pledged to have the most diverse and inclusive cabinet and staff of any governor in history, committing half of his cabinet positions to be filled by women and minorities. But Cunningham says he wants diversity in thought, as well.

“Abraham Lincoln is my favorite American president. And when he was elected, he surrounded himself with a team of rivals - people who previously opposed him and many who disagreed with him on key issues. That helped Lincoln work better with Congress and allowed him to focus on the most important issues that would bring people together. South Carolina desperately needs new ideas - but neither party has a monopoly on new or good ideas. That’s why I will always listen to those who disagree with me and ensure that our state is being led by people who care more about people than party.”

Cunningham has a long history of bipartisanship. In Congress, he was ranked one of the most independent members and was the most bipartisan freshman lawmaker in the previous Congress. After his election in 2018, Cunningham hired several Republican staffers who previously served in Congressman Sanford’s office. Additionally, Cunningham was a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group of members of Congress that forged pragmatic policies.