Monday, October 08, 2018

Joe Cunningham: South Carolina Needs This Eagle Scout

Delighted to see that the 1st Congressional District of South Carolina made the list of 63 competitive House districts, most of them currently held by Republicans, because I've been a fan of South Carolina Democrat Joe Cunningham since he announced. (Full disclosure: I am not a contributor. There's only so much I can afford, and almost all of it goes to candidates inside North Carolina, except for young James Lee Auman in the Alabama 4th District, which didn't make the list of competitive districts, but I don't care: I'm impressed by bravery and hard work.)

But Joe Cunningham in South Carolina ... running for the Congressional seat that Mark Sanford got booted from in this year's Republican primary. The 1st Congressional District of South Carolina hugs the coast and takes in the old Confederate Emerald City of Charleston, which is much less Confederate now but still as stodgy as freshly starched crinolines.

When a reporter asked him, "Who recruited you to run," Cunningham replied, "My own conscience." We've been hearing variations of that answer from a lot of Democratic candidates this year, especially in supposedly "safe" Republican districts.

Cunningham is actually a native of Kentucky. His father is Bill Cunningham, who sits on the Kentucky Supreme Court. Joe followed his father into the practice of law, but not immediately. First, he got a degree in ocean engineering and worked in both Florida and on the South Carolina coast before going back to law school. He now specializes in construction law.

He's come out strong against off-shore drilling, which his Republican opponent is on record supporting. (If I'd been directing that commercial, though, I would have rethought putting the candidate up to his chin in the ocean, but that's a quibble. He's good on his feet, and I think that's how voters might prefer to see him.)

His best video is on his homepage, but here's another sampling of his personality. You can see the Eagle Scout from a mile away:

I like what his father said about him: “He doesn’t scare easily. When he said he wanted to become an Eagle Scout, he focused on that, was laser-focused on it. Everything he set his mind to, growing up, he did. I’ve learned not to underestimate him.”

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