CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - An important and closely-watched race for United States Senate in North Carolina pits incumbent Republican Senator Thom Tillis against Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham.
Tillis had 2,640,381 votes, representing 48.73 percent of the vote while Cunningham had 2,543,693 votes representing 46.94 percent of the vote as of Wednesday morning. An official winner has yet to be called.
Still, Tillis claimed victory as he held a lead with 99.89 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday night. He spoke to supporters at a watch party.
Cunningham says he is still waiting on all the ballots to be counted.
“The State Board of Elections is continuing to count ballots, and we plan to allow that process to be carried out, so every voter can have their voice heard,” Cunningham’s campaign said Wednesday afternoon.
The race itself had shocking twists for both candidates less than a month before Election Day.
Cunningham is under investigation by the US Army Reserve following revelations he may have had an extramarital affair. He admitted to exchanging a series of sexual text messages with a woman who is not his wife.
Tillis tested positive for COVID-19 after attending the White House Supreme Court nomination ceremony of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
In a race with many eyes watching closely, here’s some information about each candidate.
Thom Tillis has been a U.S. Senator representing North Carolina since 2015.
He served on the North Carolina House of Representatives, for District 98 from 2007 to 2014, and was the Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives from 2011-2014.
As a senator, Tillis has served on committees of Veterans' Affairs, Armed Services, the Judiciary and more.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in technology management from University of Maryland University College in 1997.
Tillis has sponsored bills related to immigration, border security and veterans' affairs.
Cunningham served on the North Carolina State Senate, representing District 23 from 2001 to 2003.
He also ran for a U.S. Senate seat for North Carolina in 2010.
Cunningham joined the U.S. Army Reserve in 2001, serving three active duty tours including Iraq and Afghanistan.
He’s the former Vice Chairman of North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission
Cunningham earned his undergraduate and law degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
According to his campaign website, he lists priorities for accessible healthcare, economic opportunity for all, criminal justice reform, equal rights and preventing gun violence.
The 2020 general election is Tuesday, Nov. 3.