Democratic candidate Cal Cunningham sent consensual messages, described the married woman as "historically sexy."
Democratic candidate Cal Cunningham who's contesting in the Senate race has found himself caught up in controversy after it emerged he may have had an extra-marital affair. The married father-of-two has apologized for sending consensual sexually suggestive text messages to Arlene Guzman Todd, a public relations strategist from California. Guzman is also a veteran's wife. The details of the romantic messages he sent to a woman was published by NationalFile.com prior to the first debate between the Democratic candidate and Republican Senator Thom Tillis, on Thursday. Cunningham appeared to text a woman, describing her as "historically sexy" and suggested the pair meet secretly. The disclosure could upend the race in Thom Tillis' favor in what was supposed to be a competitive North Carolina Senate race. The website published a series of screenshots of the texts that Cunningham had appeared to have sent the woman.
In one text, Cunningham, an Army reservist, wrote, "Would make my day to roll over and kiss you about now." Guzman responded in kind, writing, "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." Cunningham replied, "sounds so hot and so fun!" The duo also made plans to "make up an excuse for the fam and ditch the staffer" so they could meet and "kiss a lot." The text messages undermined Cal Cunningham's image as a "family man." Only last week did Cunningham and his wife of 20 years Elizabeth, give a joint interview in which she lauded her husband. "He's very authentic," Elizabeth Cunningham said in the interview, before adding, "and I think that's one of the things that people like about him when they meet him."
Cal Cunningham admitted to having sent the messages and claimed he breached the trust of his family and apologized for the texts. "I have hurt my family, disappointed my friends, and am deeply sorry," said Cunningham in a statement to CNN . "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." The Democratic candidate said he wanted to focus on the upcoming Senate race. "I remain grateful and humbled by the ongoing support that North Carolinians have extended in this campaign," he added, "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."
Cunningham and his wife Elizabeth have been together since the pair met in 1997. When her husband ran for office in 2010, she sent a personal email with an endorsement reading, "I've been married to Cal for nine years, and I know he's in this race for all the right reasons. I couldn't be prouder of Cal's record as a fighter for the people and causes he believes in. In the State Senate, he fought for strong schools, clean air, job training, and government reform. In Iraq, he fought contractor crimes and fraud that harmed the mission and wasted taxpayer funds. Now he's ready to fight just as hard for North Carolina families in our nation's capital.”
The controversy hits Cal Cunningham just as many North Carolina voters are casting their ballots by mail, on account of the pandemic. The in-person voting in the state begins on October 15. It remains to be seen how the news of Cunningham's alleged extra-marital affair could affect the race. Another news that hit the North Carolina Senate race was the fact that Cunningham's opponent Tillis tested positive for coronavirus. Tillis was one among the many Republicans who had attended a White House event marking Judge Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court. Cunningham also agreed to get tested before prior to debating Tillis.
COVER IMAGE SOURCE: Twitter/@CalforNC