Joe Cunningham

Candidate for US Congress, South Carolina's 1st District


  • Joe completed his B.S. in Ocean Engineering and worked at a small firm designing, permitting and overseeing the construction of marina and coastline development. While working as an ocean engineer, Joe coordinated with various local, state and federal agencies, as well as environmental groups in fulfilling all necessary permits. He worked to ensure the development did not negatively impact our natural resources.

  • After working for years as an ocean engineer, Joe moved to South America to learn Spanish. Returning to the United States, Joe followed his dream of going to law school. He served as the President of the Chase College of Law Student Bar Association and was elected as the American Bar Association’s Vice-Chair of the Law Student Division, where he fought to curtail the ever-rising costs of legal education.

  • Joe will also fight to make college affordable for every student in South Carolina by increasing access to and protecting Pell Grants.  

  • Joe believes that we cannot continue to saddle future generations with debt that prevents financial freedom and economic growth, so he will be a supporter of legislation that allows students to refinance their student loan debt at lower interest rates.

  • Joe believes climate change is the single greatest non-military threat to our nation, living near the coast he gets to see the impacts of rising sea levels and harsh storm systems firsthand. He believes this challenge presents an opportunity to invest in clean energy that promotes job growth and eliminates dirty energy sources, like drilling off our coast for oil, once and for all.

Joe's Race

  • Joe Cunningham is running for South Carolina's First Congressional District, winning the Democratic Primary with over 70% of the vote.

  • SC-1 is considered to be the most competitive congressional district in South Carolina, where Donald Trump received just 53% of the vote in 2016.

  • President Trump endorsed Joe’s opponent in her primary over incumbent Mark Sanford because Sanford stood up to Trump on issues he disagreed with the president on, while Joe’s opponent has all but signed onto the Trump agenda.

  • We must elect Joe to congress to stand up to the president, and he is not alone as he has already crossed party lines and received endorsements from 2 Republican Mayors in Coastal Cities.