CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - US Senate Candidate Cal Cunningham is under investigation by the US Army Reserve following revelations he may have had an extramarital affair.
Cunningham confirmed to the Raleigh News & Observer late last Friday a series of sexual text messages he exchanged with a woman who is not his wife.
Cunningham apologized but said he would not drop out of the race in a statement. It’s unclear when the messages were sent, but at one point Cunningham says he’s “Nervous about the next 100 days,” which could be a reference to the election. One hundred days before the election would be July 26.
Both Cunningham and the woman, identified by the online news outlet National File as the wife of an army veteran, have spouses.
Copies of the messages were obtained by National File. In them, Cunningham can be seen sending texts to the woman saying things like, “Would make my day to roll over and kiss you about now.”
In a statement to WBTV, Cunningham says, “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. I ask that my family’s privacy be respected in this personal matter.”
“I remain grateful and humbled by the ongoing support that North Carolinians have extended in this campaign, and in the remaining weeks before this election I will continue to work to earn the opportunity to fight for the people of our state.”
Cunningham has touted his military service—first as an active duty soldier in the Army and now the Army Reserve—as a central point of his campaign.
He is currently assigned to the 134 Legal Operations Detachment based at Fort Bragg.
In a statement Wednesday, a spokesman for the Army Reserve confirmed an investigation into Cunningham’s alleged extramarital affair.
“The Army Reserve is investigating the matters involving Lt. Col. James Cunningham. As such, we are unable to provide further details at this time,” Army Reserve spokesman Lt. Col. Simon Flake said in a statement to WBTV.
Adultery is a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. It is not clear whether Cunningham’s alleged conduct would violate the UCMJ.
A spokeswoman for Cunningham’s campaign issued the following statement late Wednesday morning in response to news of the investigation:
“Cal will participate in this process, but it does not change the stakes of this election or the need for new leaders who will fight for the issues North Carolinians care about instead of caving to the corporate special interests – which is exactly what Senator Tillis has done in his years in Washington.”