People have been voting by mail in the U.S. for close to a hundred years, but it’s never been as big an issue as it is in the 2020 election. This is the start of a five-part animation series by The Associated Press, Election 2020 Facts (Sept. 21)
North Carolina U.S. Senate candidate Cal Cunningham admitted to sending sexual text messages to a woman who is not his wife but said he will not drop out of the race against incumbent GOP Sen. Thom Tillis.
Screenshots of the intimate messages between Cunningham and Arlene Guzman Todd, a California public relations strategist, were first revealed by NationalFile.com.
In these messages, Guzman Todd tells the Democratic candidate to “Get away for a night soon. The longer we wait the crazier fall schedules will get.” Cunningham responds, “Sounds wonderful – I want that too!!! Very badly.”
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Cunningham also texted Guzman Todd that it “would make my day to roll over and kiss you about now.”
Another text 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!”
Cunningham apologized Friday in a statement, saying, “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.”
It’s unclear when the messages were sent, however, in one of the screenshots Cunningham says that he’s “nervous about the next 100 days,” potentially referring to the Senate election on Nov. 3, which would mean that message was likely sent sometime in late July.
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The Senate candidate is married and a father of two, as is Guzman Todd, according to National File.
Despite the release of those messages, Cunningham has said he will remain in the race.
“I remain grateful and humbled by this ongoing support that North Carolinians have extended in this campaign, and in the reaming weeks before this election I will continue to work to earn the opportunity to fight for the people of out state,” Cunningham said in a statement.
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Cunningham’s apology comes hours after his opponent, Republican Sen. Thom Tillis, confirmed he tested positive for COVID-19.
Most polls show Cunningham leading Tillis, including a CBS News/YouGov poll from Sept. 22-25 that showed 48% of likely voters said they plan to cast their ballots for Cunningham, while 38% support Tillis.
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