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Gov hopeful McLeod unveils plan for Black South Carolinians

March 1, 2022 GMT
FILE - In this June 1, 2021, file photo, state Sen. Mia McLeod, left, stands in the sanctuary of Shiloh Baptist, her family's church, talking with Rev. Coley Mearite in Bennettsville, S.C. In her campaign for South Carolina governor, state Sen. Mia McLeod has rolled out an agenda she says she hopes will advance opportunities for the state's Black population.   (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard, File)
FILE - In this June 1, 2021, file photo, state Sen. Mia McLeod, left, stands in the sanctuary of Shiloh Baptist, her family's church, talking with Rev. Coley Mearite in Bennettsville, S.C. In her campaign for South Carolina governor, state Sen. Mia McLeod has rolled out an agenda she says she hopes will advance opportunities for the state's Black population.   (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard, File)
FILE - In this June 1, 2021, file photo, state Sen. Mia McLeod, left, stands in the sanctuary of Shiloh Baptist, her family's church, talking with Rev. Coley Mearite in Bennettsville, S.C. In her campaign for South Carolina governor, state Sen. Mia McLeod has rolled out an agenda she says she hopes will advance opportunities for the state's Black population.   (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard, File)
FILE - In this June 1, 2021, file photo, state Sen. Mia McLeod, left, stands in the sanctuary of Shiloh Baptist, her family's church, talking with Rev. Coley Mearite in Bennettsville, S.C. In her campaign for South Carolina governor, state Sen. Mia McLeod has rolled out an agenda she says she hopes will advance opportunities for the state's Black population. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard, File)
FILE - In this June 1, 2021, file photo, state Sen. Mia McLeod, left, stands in the sanctuary of Shiloh Baptist, her family's church, talking with Rev. Coley Mearite in Bennettsville, S.C. In her campaign for South Carolina governor, state Sen. Mia McLeod has rolled out an agenda she says she hopes will advance opportunities for the state's Black population. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — In her campaign for South Carolina governor, state Sen. Mia McLeod has rolled out an agenda she says she hopes will advance opportunities for the state’s Black population.

This week, the Columbia Democrat released what she called her “Advancement Agenda for Black South Carolina.” Among her priorities, McLeod said in a news release, are furthering partnerships with historically Black colleges and institutions and elsewhere “that encourage and facilitate affordable homeownership, access to quality healthcare, financial literacy and stability, public education investments, Medicaid expansion (and) cultural preservation.”

South Carolina’s Legislature, not its governor, holds most of the power over state funding allocations. McLeod’s plan does not spell out details on how she would propose to achieve those goals but does pledge that, as governor, she “is committed to building a cabinet that is as diverse as South Carolina.”

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According to University of South Carolina professor Bobby Donaldson, a scholar of Southern history and African American culture, McLeod is the first Black woman to seek South Carolina’s top job.

In launching her gubernatorial bid last summer, McLeod told The Associated Press that she felt she could become the first Black woman to serve as a U.S. governor, despite the fact that Democrats haven’t been elected to a statewide office in South Carolina in 15 years.

McLeod will face other Democrats in June’s primary, including former Rep. Joe Cunningham. Thus far in the race, McLeod has posted $359,000 in fundraising, while Cunningham has raised more than $1.3 million.

Republican Gov. Henry McMaster has yet to draw a primary opponent raising significant money. The incumbent has a war chest of nearly $4.5 million.