Launching a political bid
After he graduated from Carolina, Gunn started his career as a community organizer.
“I worked in a nonprofit organization, and my job was to engage community people around political issues as it relates to health care,” says Gunn, who is the oldest son of a public school teacher and a Navy veteran.
“I became a candidate for state legislator because of my frustration with lawmakers not doing what they promised to do: be authentic and do the will of the people. My younger brother was killed in a terrorist attack on the USS Cole in October 2000. It was in that tragedy that I began to understand what a sacrifice true service is."
In 2006, Gunn ran for office himself, challenging a 12-year incumbent. Gunn lost by 298 votes.
Gunn is clear about wanting “to make South Carolina the greatest state on the planet.” To forward his goal, he ran for office again two years later.
“This time I was victorious and won by 2,033 votes,” he says. “I’m the first African American to represent House District 79 and the first African-American House member to represent a white-majority house district.”