Cal Cunningham


It sounds like a regular attack ad with a familiar voice and music.  


Republican Thom Tillis and Democrat Cal Cunningham were asked a hypothetical question during their first debate Monday night: If a COVID vaccine arrives before Election Day, would they take it? Would they encourage others to do so?

WFAE screenshot

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cal Cunningham hasn’t campaigned in person since the first stay-at-home order was issued in March.

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

In this fall’s U.S Senate race, incumbent Republican Thom Tillis has accused Democrat Cal Cunningham of not weighing in on what’s become a hot political issue since the killing of George Floyd: defunding the police.

In the race for U.S. Senate in North Carolina this fall, Democrat Cal Cunningham is challenging incumbent Republican Thom Tillis. In a new ad, the National Republican Senatorial Committee attacks Cunningham’s’ voting record when he was a state senator from 2001 to 2003. The ad says Cunningham voted for over $1 billion in new taxes covering sales, health care, alcohol and more. Joining us to assess those claims is WRAL’s Paul Specht.

Cunningham's Big Cash Haul Signals Perilous Tillis Reelection Bid

Jul 16, 2020
U.S. Senate / Twitter

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina was outraised nearly 3-to-1 by his Democratic challenger in the last quarter, according to campaign reports that signal a more precarious reelection bid for the Republican in the presidential battleground state.

U.S. Senate / Twitter

North Carolina's two major-party U.S. Senate candidates are now in agreement on three debate hosts leading to their November election.

Thom Tillis

As North Carolina’s stay-at-home order continues, hundreds of protestors – like Gary Jesmock — are having weekly marches in Raleigh.

Cal Cunningham says key issues are health care, education, climate change and economic opportunity.
Cal Cunningham campaign

Cal Cunningham easily won the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate Tuesday, beating four other Democrats for the right to challenge incumbent Republican Senator Thom Tillis in November.

Erica Smith ad


The GOP’s Senate Leadership Fund admitted Friday to meddling in North Carolina’s Democratic Senate primary and said it “stole a page out of Chuck Schumer’s playbook.”

If U.S. Senate candidate Cal Cunningham is heading to the top of the primary mountain in a climate-controlled gondola, then Erica Smith, his main competitor for the Democratic nomination, is trudging to the summit, through a thicket, with one of those large walking sticks.

Ad Backing Democratic Senate Candidate Could Be Republican Primary Mischief

Feb 6, 2020
Erica Smith ad

RALEIGH — A newly formed political committee with Republican connections has started running television ads that praise a Democratic U.S. Senate candidate, causing some to suggest the ads represent GOP interference in her primary next month.

RALEIGH — The leading fundraisers to date in North Carolina's U.S. Senate race have announced largely similar contribution numbers for the previous three months.

Thom Tillis, Cal Cunningham, Erica Smith
Wikimedia, Erica Smith

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis has put immigration at the center of his reelection campaign. To set himself apart from his Democratic opponents Cal Cunningham and state Sen. Erica Smith, he’s highlighting their stances on state policies.

Steve Harrison / WFAE

With a little more than five weeks before North Carolina’s primary, the leading Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate met on stage for the first time Tuesday night at West Charlotte High. 

Senator Thom Tillis

North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis on Wednesday proposed holding five televised debates with the Democratic nominee, starting this spring.

Former North Carolina state lawmaker Cal Cunningham is campaigning to be the Democratic nominee against Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, and he wants to send a message – that he won’t be a pawn of big businesses.

Republican Senator Thom Tillis, left, faces challenges from former state Senator Cal Cunningham, Mecklenburg Commissioner Trevor Fuller and state Senator Erica Smith.
Candidates' websites

Earlier this year, North Carolina Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis opposed President Trump’s plan to declare a national emergency to fund the border wall.  

Republican Sen. Thom Tillis’s campaign said Tuesday he raised $1.2 million in the third quarter for what’s expected to be one of the nation’s closest Senate races. 

Cal Cunningham
Cal Cunningham campaign

For much of this year, national Democrats have been searching for a high-profile candidate to challenge Republican Thom Tillis.