RALEIGH — Cal Cunningham, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate for North Carolina, admitted to sending sexual text messages to a California strategist who is not his wife, but he said he will not drop out of the race.
Cunningham apologized late Friday in a statement reported by multiple news outlets. The text messages, sent to public relations strategist Arlene Guzman Todd, were first revealed by NationalFile.com.
“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 in the statement.
Screengrabs of the messages show Cunningham told Guzman Todd, “Would make my day to roll over and kiss you about now,” to which she replies, “You’re so sweet. I would enjoy that.”
Another shows Guzman Todd tell Cunningham, “the only thing I want on my to do list is you,” to which Cunningham replies, “Sounds so hot and so fun!”
It’s unclear when the messages were sent, but at one point Cunningham says he’s “Nervous about the next 100 days,” which could be a reference to the Senate election. One hundred days before the election would be July 26, the News & Observer reported.
Cunningham is married with two children. Guzman Todd is also married, according to the NationalFile.com report.
“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 said in the statement.
Earlier Friday, Cunningham’s opponent, Republican Sen. Thom Tillis, confirmed he tested positive for COVID-19 but has no symptoms. Cunningham tweeted that he wished Tillis a “quick recovery.”