GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham chose Greenville native Tally Parham Casey as his running mate.

Casey was introduced at a kickoff event in Greenville on Monday night.

“I looked for someone who could help me usher in a new generation of leadership for our state. Someone with real life experiences. Someone who shared my vision for South Carolina and the leadership skills to help me make that vision a reality,” Cunningham said.

“Tally Casey is tough as nails. She is smart as anyone you’ll ever meet, but what makes her so special is that despite her credentials and accomplishments, Tally is a real person. Normal, approachable, funny and as authentic as they come,” he said.

Cunningham introduced Casey in front of a standing room crowd at the Greenville County Convention Center.

“I wanted a fighter. Someone who would not back down to anybody. Someone with a proven record of defying the odds…exceeding expectations and winning,” Cunningham said. “Well Greenville, I have found that leader.”

“We have a woman who is going to be the next lieutenant governor who has shown us that women can fly fighter jets just as good as men,” said Trav Robertson, Chairman for the South Carolina Democratic Party.

Casey was South Carolina’s first female fighter pilot, serving three combat tours over Iraq, and she has been an attorney for more than 20 years.

“In 2017 she was elected as Chair of Wyche, P.A. in Columbia, SC, where she started practicing in 2000 and became a shareholder in 2008,” a release said.

“She is a fierce independent woman with a backbone made of steel and a heart of gold,” Cunningham said. “The good ole boys at the Statehouse, won’t ever know what hit them,” he said.

Casey said she’s ready for the role.

“I’ve watched our Governor hand out millions of dollars in tax incentives and sweetheart deals to his billionaire buddies while our schools crumble and our roads fall apart. We can do better,” Casey said.

“Are you satisfied with where we are, or do you think that things could be better? Roe v. Wade has been overturned and our Governor wants an abortion ban with no exceptions. We can do better,” she said.

“I believe that women have a right to make their own decisions. If you will trust me to defend my country, to drop bombs and take out surface to air missiles, flying a 30 plus million supersonic aircraft, shouldn’t you trust me to make decisions about my own body?” Casey said.

South Carolina legislators said your vote is important now more than ever.

“There are 99 and a half days until the November election, and 99 and a half just won’t do,” said South Carolina House Rep. Chandra Dillard, District 23 (Greenville County). “So, if you live in this state, and you want a progressive, innovative, compassion state, then Joe Cunningham must be the next Governor.”

“Not only are we the hometown of the next lieutenant governor, but guess what, as I told the media today, we are trending blue in Greenville,” Dillard said. “Let’s get started. The road to victory begins here in Greenville. Yeah, that Greenville.”

“Greenville, South Carolina, I’m proud to be on this ticket with a good man, an incredible leader and the next governor of South Carolina, Joe Cunningham,” Casey said. “Together with your help, we’re going to bring South Carolina out of the past and into the future,” she said.

Governnor McMaster’s team released a statement following Cunningham’s announcement on Monday.

“While we appreciate Ms. Casey’s service to our nation and welcome her to the race, Joe Cunningham’s choice of running mate will have far less of an impact on the campaign than his record as left-wing, Joe-Biden Democrat who has spent more time chasing Tik-Tok followers than working to improve the lives of South Carolinians.  

 In contrast, Governor McMaster and Lt. Governor Evette have stood up to Joe Biden’s policies that have caused exploding inflation and record gas prices, implemented the largest tax-cut in South Carolina history, and kept our state moving through a generational pandemic so that more South Carolinians are working today than were in February of 2020.”

McMaster-Evette Campaign