Democrat Cal Cunningham is embattled in sex scandal, with less than a month left until election day, in North Carolina’s battleground Senate race. Cunningham’s adulterous digital affair, involving elicit text messages with a woman other than his wife, was confirmed to be an in-person affair as well. A separate woman also alleges to have engaged in a physically intimate affair with Cunningham, spanning through multiple years.
Cunningham’s original case of infidelity is under investigation by the Army Reserve for a possible violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice given both his military rank and his first mistress, Arlene Guzman Todd, being married to a veteran. Todd’s husband, who disclosed that he knew Cunningham, told the Charlotte Observer on Wednesday that he should bow out of the Senate race:
“Mr. Cunningham chose to repeatedly engage in activities that would hurt his family and a fellow junior officer and veteran,” he said. “If elected, I can only imagine how misplaced his judgment would be for the people he’s charged to represent...I firmly believe Mr. Cunningham should drop out of the Senate race and ask that his behavior and actions be reviewed under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.”
Though Cunningham’s adulterous behavior is despicable and unbecoming of someone seeking a seat in the United States Senate, North Carolina laws actually prevent him from dropping out of the race. The Charlotte Observer reports that per North Carolina election statute, candidates must withdraw 60 days prior to the election at hand. The state’s law says that the deadline for candidates to exit the race is “the first day on which military and overseas absentee ballots are transmitted to voters,” which would have been in September.
Cunningham’s extramarital pursuits seem to be piling up each day. He previously held a slight lead over incumbent GOP Sen. Thom Tillis, but recent polling conducted after the news of his adultery broke pushed the race slightly in favor of Sen. Tillis.