North Carolina Senate candidate Cal Cunningham’s adulterous sex scandal grew even more disgraceful on Tuesday night, as The Associated Press confirmed that Cunningham’s initial sexting series was more than digital. The AP reports that the Senate hopeful’s sexual messaging affair with Arlene Guzman Todd, a public relations professional from California, also included an “intimate encounter” that occurred as recently as July. From the AP:
“Previously undisclosed text messages obtained by The Associated Press and additional interviews show that the relationship extended beyond suggestive texts to an intimate encounter as recently as July...The newly obtained texts provide both a more specific timeline about their relationship, which shows it was recent, as well as details that describe intimate encounters — not simply a digital exchange...Guzman Todd described two in-person encounters with Cunningham, one in March in Los Angeles that she said did not include intimate contact and a second in July in North Carolina, where she said they were intimate."
The developments in Cunningham and Guzman Todd’s adulterous digital relationship follow additional allegations of infidelity against Cunningham, that surfaced on Monday. The second case comes from a woman who claims that a close friend of hers engaged in a multi-year, extramarital affair with Cunningham. He promptly canceled a public appearance scheduled for Monday afternoon after the claims became public.
Cunningham and Guzman Todd’s extramarital affair is particularly disgraceful given his rank in the military and her husband’s veteran status. Their encounters may have violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which risks court martial.
In all irony, Cunningham has allowed an alleged “call to duty” to fuel his bid to unseat GOP Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC). The incumbent Republican called for transparency from his Democrat challenger, using Cunningham’s own words against him, when the Democrat challenger claimed that "In North Carolina, the truth still matters.”
Cal Cunningham has said, "In North Carolina, the truth still matters." I agree. He owes North Carolinians a full explanation. pic.twitter.com/N8bD2I7zUT— Thom Tillis (@ThomTillis) October 6, 2020
The GOP's Senate arm also called for transparency from Cunningham, as he remains missing-in-action:
“Cal Cunningham has centered his entire campaign around duty and honor, all while he was sexting and carrying on an affair with the wife of an Army combat veteran," NRSC spokesperson Joanna Rodriguez said in a statement. "North Carolinians deserve answers about Cunningham's misconduct so they can judge whether he is fit to represent them.”
A recent poll of likely voters that was conducted after the original scandal broke, but before the additional developments became public, shows a swing toward Sen. Tillis. Before any allegations of infidelity, Cunningham had a slight advantage over the incumbent.
Cunningham indicated that he has no plans to leave the race, but has avoided addressing the additional allegations and developments surrounding his extramarital encounters. Hand-picked to run in one of November's most competitive, consequential Senate races, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer once claimed that he hoped to keep Cunningham in a "windowless basement" during the election cycle. Perhaps, Cunningham would be better off there than in the public eye.