Democrat Cal Cunningham 'Hurt' Family with Romantic Texts, Doesn't Plan on Ending Campaign

A North Carolina Democrat has said that he would continue in the race for the U.S. Senate despite controversy erupting over revelations that he had sent romantic texts to a woman who is not his wife.

The campaign for Cal Cunningham, a married father-of-two, admitted that the text messages sent between him and former staffer Arlene Guzman Todd, were authentic, but insisted that he would not drop out of the race.

First reported by National File, one of the text messages read: "Would make my day to roll over and kiss you about now," with another from Guzman saying, "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 text messages have been revealed a month from Election Day when Cunningham takes on first-term Republican Sen. Thom Tillis.

BREAKING: Cal Cunningham confirms the sexts first reported by @NationalFile are real. He is not dropping out of the race.

"I have hurt my family, disappointed my friends and am deeply sorry."#ncpol #ncsen https://t.co/yO8JGwYqGq

— Joe Bruno (@JoeBrunoWSOC9) October 3, 2020

A statement issued by his campaign said: "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," Cunningham said. "I ask that my family's privacy be respected in this personal matter.

"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."

Cunningham, 47, is a Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army Reserve and a lawyer. His campaign had been buoyed by the announcement he had beaten a North Carolina record and raised $28.3 million in the third quarter of the year, The Hill reported.

A poll by the University of Massachusetts Lowell this week put him six points ahead of Tillis, 49 percent to 43 percent as Democrats hope to flip what they believe is a vulnerable seat.

National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesperson Joanna Rodriguez tried to make political capital out of the text messages, tweeting: "Families sacrifice so much when a candidate runs for office — time, finances, privacy, etc. For Cal Cunningham to betray his family like this is the most selfish, disgusting thing he could do. And if he'll betray his family, he'll betray #NCsen voters

Cunningham had previously served in the North Carolina state Senate and made an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate in 2010, the News and Observer reported.

He is scheduled to appear in Raleigh on Thursday for a third and final debate against Tillis, who has just tested positive for the coronavirus.

The U.S. Capitol building
The U.S. Capitol building in this illustrative image. The race to be North Carolina Senator has been hit by revelations that Democrat Cal Cunningham sent romantic text messages to a woman who was not his wife. AL DRAGO/Getty Images