News

Elections

Cal Cunningham Staying in NC Senate Race Despite Admitting to Extramarital Sexts

Cal Cunningham in a campaign video (via YouTube)

Democratic Senate candidate Cal Cunningham said Friday that he is “taking complete responsibility” for sending sexually charged text messages to a woman who is not his wife, but vowed to not drop out of his race against incumbent Thom Tillis.

“I have hurt my family, disappointed my friends, and am deeply sorry. The first step in repairing those relationships is taking complete responsibility, which I do. I ask that my family’s privacy be respected in this personal matter,” Cunningham — a married father of two and a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve — said in a statement. “I remain grateful and humbled by the ongoing support that North Carolinians have extended in this campaign, and in the remaining weeks before this election I will continue to work to earn the opportunity to fight for the people of our state.”

Reached for comment, Tillis campaign spokesman Andrew Romeo told National Review that “while we were surprised to read the news about Cal Cunningham in the News and Observer last night, our campaign is focused on the health of Senator Tillis and our staff.” Tillis announced on Friday that he was one of several Republican senators to test positive for COVID-19.

“As we adapt our campaign in light of the Senator’s positive test, all questions on Cunningham should be directed to his campaign,” Romeo added.

The texts, first reported on Thursday by NationalFile.com, show Cunningham exchanging risqué remarks with Arlene Guzman Todd, a public relations strategist based in California and the wife of a veteran. FEC records show that Todd has given $450 to the Cunningham campaign since April.

“You are historically sexy,” Cunningham told Todd on one occasion, according to screen shots of their conversation. “Would make my day to roll over and kiss you about now,” he said in another screen grab. “You’re so sweet. I would enjoy that,” Todd responded.

While it’s unclear when the messages occurred, in one message Cunningham says that he’s “Nervous about the next 100 days,” a possible reference to the election. In another, Todd tells Cunningham to “Pick a day, city, make up an excuse for the fam, ditch a staffer, starch your white shirt, and be ready to kiss a lot.”

Cunningham announced this week that he raised a record $28.3 million in the third quarter, nearly quadrupling his fundraising haul from the second quarter. Cunningham has been accused by Republicans of running a “windowless basement” strategy, consisting of few public appearances and heavy criticism of his opponent, to win in November.

Editor’s Note: This piece has been updated with a comment from the Tillis campaign.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Most Popular

History

The 1620 Project

On November 11, 1620, the Mayflower arrived on the eastern coast of North America. She had weathered the slings and arrows of maritime misfortune for almost ten weeks at that point, but the passengers thought the discomfort of crossing a small price to pay for passage to the Promised Land. After all, these were ... Read More
History

The 1620 Project

On November 11, 1620, the Mayflower arrived on the eastern coast of North America. She had weathered the slings and arrows of maritime misfortune for almost ten weeks at that point, but the passengers thought the discomfort of crossing a small price to pay for passage to the Promised Land. After all, these were ... Read More
White House

Implications of the Flynn Pardon

President Trump granted a pardon to Michael Flynn, his former national-security adviser, today. Flynn had pled guilty to lying to FBI agents about conversations, during the 2016 transition, with the Russian ambassador about sanctions. Flynn’s pardon should bring to an end one gross violation of the ... Read More
White House

Implications of the Flynn Pardon

President Trump granted a pardon to Michael Flynn, his former national-security adviser, today. Flynn had pled guilty to lying to FBI agents about conversations, during the 2016 transition, with the Russian ambassador about sanctions. Flynn’s pardon should bring to an end one gross violation of the ... Read More
History

Thanksgiving Is Not a Lie

We live in a time of heedless iconoclasm, and so one of the country’s oldest traditions is under assault. Thanksgiving is increasingly portrayed as, at best, based on falsehoods and, at worst, a whitewash of genocide against Native Americans. The New York Times ran a piece the other day titled, “The ... Read More
History

Thanksgiving Is Not a Lie

We live in a time of heedless iconoclasm, and so one of the country’s oldest traditions is under assault. Thanksgiving is increasingly portrayed as, at best, based on falsehoods and, at worst, a whitewash of genocide against Native Americans. The New York Times ran a piece the other day titled, “The ... Read More

The Imaginary Trump

Like Andrew Jackson, Donald Trump is man who represents the age in which he lived. Whatever you may think of the age. Jackson embodied a generation of men who had risen and made their mark in a young country. He represented their desire for greater representation, even if it had costs for slaves and Indians. He ... Read More

The Imaginary Trump

Like Andrew Jackson, Donald Trump is man who represents the age in which he lived. Whatever you may think of the age. Jackson embodied a generation of men who had risen and made their mark in a young country. He represented their desire for greater representation, even if it had costs for slaves and Indians. He ... Read More
Culture

On Being Grateful

My mother always enjoyed making Thanksgiving dinner. She took a traditional Southern woman’s pride in being a good cook, following her mother’s recipes, and my family made a rare display of kindness by declining to inform her that she was a fairly dreadful cook, one whose kitchen alchemy on the electric range ... Read More
Culture

On Being Grateful

My mother always enjoyed making Thanksgiving dinner. She took a traditional Southern woman’s pride in being a good cook, following her mother’s recipes, and my family made a rare display of kindness by declining to inform her that she was a fairly dreadful cook, one whose kitchen alchemy on the electric range ... Read More
Economy & Business

Shopping Superstitions

It’s the boss-bossiest time of the year, when Americans getting ready to open up their wallets to buy Christmas presents are lectured by illiterate halfwits about where and how to spend their money. The usual demands: Buy local, or buy from small businesses. This is pure nonsense, and you should feel free to ... Read More
Economy & Business

Shopping Superstitions

It’s the boss-bossiest time of the year, when Americans getting ready to open up their wallets to buy Christmas presents are lectured by illiterate halfwits about where and how to spend their money. The usual demands: Buy local, or buy from small businesses. This is pure nonsense, and you should feel free to ... Read More