The U.S. Army Reserve is investigating North Carolina Democratic Senate candidate Cal Cunningham after he admitted to exchanging romantic text messages with the wife of a combat veteran.
“The Army Reserve is investigating the matters involving Lt. Col. James Cunningham,” Army Reserve spokesman Lt. Col. Simon Flake told The Hill. “As such, we are unable to provide further details at this time.”
Cunningham apologized for text messages last Friday, the same day that Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) announced that he tested positive for the coronavirus.
It is unclear when the messages were sent, but one text may have been sent as he was campaigning this summer.
“Would make my day to roll over and kiss you about now,” Cunningham wrote in one of the text messages. In other messages, the two fantasized about spending the night together.
Amid news of the investigation, Tills tweeted that Cunningham “owes North Carolinians a full explanation. The truth still matters in North Carolina, Cal.”
Cal Cunningham is now under investigation by the U.S. Army Reserve. He owes North Carolinians a full explanation. The truth still matters in North Carolina, Cal. https://t.co/xTgOd01qz5
– Thom Tillis (@ThomTillis) October 7, 2020
North Carolina is one of a handful of Senate seats that Democrats are eyeing to flip to win back the upper chamber’s majority. But the state of the race has been upended with Cunningham’s alleged affair and Tillis’s coronavirus diagnosis, as these revelations could possibly sway North Carolinians’ opinions.
Voting in the state is already underway.
Tillis was forced to temporarily close his campaign headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., amid his positive COVID-19 test, and will remain off the trail for at least another week.
Cunningham’s text messages appeared to have a relatively small impact on his standing in the race as of late.
A survey by Public Policy Polling released Monday found that 58 percent of North Carolinians who heard about the texts said it wouldn’t change their votes. According to the same poll, Cunningham leads Tillis 48 percent to 42 percent.
The same survey also found that former Vice President Joe Biden leads President Trump by 4 points in the state.
The Hill has reached out to Cunningham’s campaign for comment.
Rebecca Kheel contributed to this report.