Cunningham picks former fighter pilot as SC gov running mate
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC/AP) - Joe Cunningham has chosen a civil litigator who flew combat missions in Iraq to be his running mate.
Cunningham is trying to become South Carolina’s first Democratic governor in 20 years. He previewed his pick of Tally Parham Casey ahead of a formal announcement Monday in her hometown of Greenville.
Cunningham told The Associated Press that Casey’s military service, legal savvy and the fact that she’s a woman make her the right fit.
Casey was South Carolina’s first female fighter pilot, serving three combat tours over Iraq. She served in the South Carolina Air National Guard’s 157th Squadron and is a veteran of three combat tours in Iraq. In addition to her standout military career, Tally has also been an attorney for over 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.
She called the announcement an “incredible honor and privilege.”
“I have long admired Joe’s bipartisan approach to governing and believe he is exactly what South Carolina needs as governor,” Casey said. “Joe is a regular guy who has the guts to say what we’re all thinking. He doesn’t play by traditional political rules and he doesn’t toe any party line. He’s honest, sincere, and he represents a new generation of leadership - the kind of leadership our state and nation desperately need. I am so excited to continue my service to South Carolina as our next Lieutenant Governor. Over the next few months I look forward to traveling throughout our state to showcase our vision for a more free and prosperous South Carolina.”
Cunningham called Casey the “perfect pick” for a lieutenant governor.
Tally Casey represents the very best of South Carolina,” Cunningham said. “As the first female fighter pilot in the South Carolina Air National Guard with three tours of duty over Iraq, Tally is a trailblazer who has courageously fought for our freedoms abroad. Now I have asked her to help me fight for our freedoms here at home. Her talent and leadership have earned her countless accolades, including being selected by her colleagues as CEO of the Wyche Law Firm, one of the oldest and most prominent law firms in the state. Simply put, there is nothing Tally Casey cannot do. I am so excited to have her on this ticket and I can’t wait for the voters of South Carolina to meet their next Lieutenant Governor.”
Casey was one of nine possible running mates in a list the Cunningham camp released on June 18.
She beat out three of the candidates who were from the Lowcountry: State Rep. Spencer Wetmore (D-Charleston), a former prosecutor and city administrator of Folly Beach; chief marketing officer of Burr & Forman LLP and former state senate nominee Kathryn Whitaker; and Air Force pilot, commercial realtor and former state House nominee Ed Sutton.
Cunningham said the person he chooses would “be ready to lead on day one.”
“Our ticket will represent the future of South Carolina and the amazing potential of our state,” he said in a statement. “I am committed to selecting a qualified, visionary leader to join our team and help usher in a new generation of leadership for South Carolina.”
Cunnigham plans to hold a kickoff event Monday afternoon at the Greenville Convention Center to formally present Casey as his running mate. That event is set to take place at 5:30 p.m.
Gov. Henry McMaster and Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette filed for reelection last week.
Copyright 2022 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.