WASHINGTON – Former North Carolina lawmaker Cal Cunningham (D) announced Monday that he is running against U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis (R) to fight for the middle class and take on “political corruption,” in Washington.
“Somebody’s gotta do something about it. That’s why I’m announcing for U.S. Senate,” Cunningham said in a video posted to YouTube.
He added: “To take on the political corruption that’s standing in the way of progress. And politicians, like Thom Tillis, that are part of the problem.”
Political corruption in DC & politicians like Thom Tillis are standing in the way of progress. I'm running for U.S. Senate to move NC forward. This is a must-win Senate seat & we can't do this without your help. Join us: https://t.co/XEAfIHXguU #ncpol #ncsen pic.twitter.com/4AMJG6id6W
— Cal Cunningham (@CalforNC) June 17, 2019
Cunningham, 45, served in the North Carolina state senate from 2001-03. He is an attorney and a Major in the Army Reserve. Cunningham served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Cunningham is the third Democrat to challenge Tillis. However, pundits say he is favored to win the nomination. Cunningham exited the lieutenant governor’s race in order to run for Senate.
Tillis, 58, has served in the Senate since 2015. He is considered a staunch conservative and is a close ally of President Donald Trump..
North Carolina was once a Republican stronghold. That trend began to shift in 2008 when Barack Obama became the first Democrat since 1976 to carry the state in a presidential election.
Republican Mitt Romney won North Carolina by 4 percentage points in 2012.
Trump carried North Carolina by a smaller margin in 2016.
North Carolina’s governor, Roy Cooper, is a Democrat. The state’s lieutenant governor, Dan Forest, is a Republican.
Both U.S. senators are Republican. The state’s congressional delegation is comprised of 10 Republicans and three Democrats.
North Carolina is included among the many Sun Belt states that have experienced an influx of northeastern migrants over the past several decades.
Many settled in the Research Triangle. The area encompasses Raleigh-Durham and eight surrounding counties and is home to many high tech companies, nationally renowned universities and government research facilities.