North Carolina U.S. Senate candidate Cal Cunningham, a married father of two, sent text messages of a sexual nature to a woman who is not his wife, his campaign confirmed Friday night.
The text messages between Cunningham and Arlene Guzman Todd, a public relations strategist from California, were first reported Thursday night by NationalFile.com.
The report included pictures of the text messages, in which Cunningham and Guzman, who is also married according to the report, talked about kissing each other and more.
“Would make my day to roll over and kiss you about now,” said one text message from Cunningham.
In one text from Guzman, she says: “I have flexibility this month — done with school, training, big RFPs, etc. So the only thing I want on my to do list is you.”
The Cunningham campaign confirmed the authenticity of the text messages.
Cunningham, who has been leading in polling in his pivotal U.S. Senate race against Republican incumbent Thom Tillis, said Friday night that he is not dropping out of the race.
“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 said in a statement sent to The News & Observer.
“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.”
National File is a dirtbag right-wing nutjob site, but somebody handed them the goods and Cunningham is most likely going to lose now in a race he was ahead by 5-10 points.
If this ends up costing Democrats control of the Senate, well, now that's the point, isn't it?
Pretty mild stuff frankly, but Dems get held to standards and Republicans don't, and that's all that it will take to put this race into a tailspin and maybe keep Mitch McConnell in charge of the Senate down the road.
Thom Tillis, the Republican senator that Cunningham is trying to beat, just tested positive for COVID
thanks to Trump's superspreader event for Amy Coney Barrett at the White House last Saturday, so that may keep the Tillis campaign from being able to take full advantage of the huge opening they've just been given, but short of something really bad happening to Tillis as a result (or Trump!) this is going to be on every TV for the next 30 days in NC.
We'll see if it's enough to beat Tillis, but the larger problem is somebody sure as hell got a hold of Cunningham's phone messages and gave them to a right-wing tabloid political site, knowing full well the consequences.
The even larger problem remains though that Cal Cunningham showed very poor judgment, hurt his wife, and it could become a serious issue down the line for all of America escaping from the GOP.