RACE FOR GOVERNOR: McMaster and Cunningham see differently on many issues at only debate

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — Early voting has already begun in South Carolina.

 The biggest race on everyone’s ballot is the battle for governor.

Henry McMaster and Joe Cunningham view the leadership in South Carolina the last four years differently.  They debated in Columbia Wednesday evening. 

“We’ve had some great successes,” said current governor Henry McMaster. 

“We’ll fire football coaches after a few losing seasons so why do we keep on electing the same old politicians? They have no new ideas,” Cunningham said, criticizing the governor.

Cunningham has campaigned on some new ideas of his own. 

“We want to eliminate the state income tax because South Carolina has the highest state income tax rate in the southeast,” the former congressman said.

McMaster cites the lowering of the state income tax this year as one of his successes as governor. 

“We want to reduce it more but that is a good start. The economy will boom,” the governor said. 

To help the state’s economy, Cunningham believes South Carolina needs new revenue streams. He says legalizing marijuana and sports betting is part of the answer.

“This is about giving South Carolinians more freedom.,” Cunningham said. “If it’s going on anyways, the state might as well regulate it, tax it, make money off of it and give it to teachers or fix our roads.”

“That’s gambling. A lot of people are opposed to it as well as recreational marijuana,” McMaster replied. “Those are not the answers to the problems in South Carolina.”

In addition to these issues, the two candidates also disagree when it comes to laws concerning abortion and gay marriage.

“Under our state law, it is not allowed,” McMaster said about gay marriage. “I would follow whatever the state law is. I may be old-fashioned but I think marriage should be between a man and a woman.”

“I don’t think it’s politicians’ role to rip away freedoms from people and women who want to make their own healthcare decisions,” Cunningham said.

One thing McMaster and Cunningham do agree on is the need to pay teachers in the Palmetto State more money. 

“We have three pillars to our strength: our economy, our environment and our education. Of those three, education is the most important,” the governor said.

Both also believe they are the best man for the governor’s job. 

“It would be the greatest honor to continue serving as the governor and first lady of South Carolina,” McMaster said to voters.

“It’s time for a new generation of leadership,” Cunningham said.

To find out where you can vote early for governor and other elected officials in South Carolina, click here.

Categories: Local News, Richland