South Carolina Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham announced Tuesday he plans to end Confederate Memorial Day if elected.
The former congressman called the holiday "embarrassing" in a tweet.
"Today, state offices are closed to observe Confederate Memorial Day. This is another example of how our state continues to live in the past," Cunningham wrote. "Honestly, it’s embarrassing. When I’m governor, we’re going to end Confederate Memorial Day and make Election Day a state holiday instead."
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Today, state offices are closed to observe Confederate Memorial Day. This is another example of how our state continues to live in the past. Honestly, it’s embarrassing.— Joe Cunningham (@JoeCunninghamSC) May 10, 2022
When I’m governor, we’re going to end Confederate Memorial Day and make Election Day a state holiday instead.
"The state of South Carolina has officially observed Confederate Memorial Day since 2000, when the legislature added it to the state calendar as a compromise after we became the last state in the country to observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day," Cunningham wrote in a press release.
Cunningham would rather replace the state holiday with Election Day, as he's planned since launching his campaign in 2021.
North Carolina also commemorates the holiday on May 10. On that day in 1865, then-Confederate President Jefferson Davis was captured by Union troops in Georgia.
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There are four other Democratic candidates running in the primary against Cunningham, vying for the opportunity to face the likely Republican nominee, incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster, in the general election.