“I am very sorry for the pain I have caused in my personal life and I also apologize to all of you,” said Cunningham in his seven-minute remarks. “And I hope all of you who watch at home will sincerely accept this.” Sorry and that we will continue to work together to change the direction of our country and strengthen our state. “
Along with his first public address mentioning the matter, Cunningham’s campaign restarted other key operations, with the postal vote already in full swing and early voting due to begin in eight days. His campaign Two donation emails were sent on Wednesday that did not mention the matter or recent developments. It also Restarted Facebook ads that were temporarily paused.
The candidate himself spoke briefly to a local television reporter in a parking lot in Raleigh, cup of coffee in hand and a mask slipping off his nose, and essentially reiterated his statement that the race is not about his personal life, it is about political issues. But he hasn̵
Republicans have piled up. They run TV ads attacking him for the revelations and Facebook ads referring to local coverage of the affair. They have also criticized other Senate challengers who are supposed to raise funds with him, adding to every new, often embarrassing detail on social media.
“We certainly believe he has a lot of questions to answer if he is to stay on the ballot,” said Michael Whatley, the state’s GOP chairman. “North Carolina voters deserve to know what his statement is on all of these things. And the fact that he was hiding behind a fig leaf and saying, please honor my family’s privacy … I don’t think so [it is] I will work with the North Carolina voters. “
Cunningham defended himself against the Republican offensive in his remarks on Wednesday.
“And because Thom Tillis knows that he is losing and that we are winning, he has now tried to run this campaign on something other than the issues,” he said.
Luke Blanchat, Tillis’ campaign manager, said in a statement that Cunningham’s statements were inadequate, calling it a “dishonest apology” and urging him to respond more Ask.
“Cal Cunningham’s comments tonight only make his scandal – and the hypocrisy of his campaign – worse,” Blanchat said. “Cunningham is afraid to speak directly about why and how he betrayed the North Carolinians’ trust.”
Democrats have stood by Cunningham. The Senatorial Democratic Campaign Committee adds an additional $ 3 million to her TV reservations for the last two weeks of the campaign. Lauren Passalacqua, a spokeswoman for the committee, said it was part of an ongoing strategy to raise funds for core races like Iowa, Montana and Arizona. According to Advertising Analytics, the DSCC is now set to spend nearly $ 21 million in the state.
“People are disappointed with this, and they certainly don’t need to now,” said Gary Pearce, a veteran Democratic agent in the state. “But from the Democrats I speak to, people don’t seem to turn against him.”
Carolyn Eberly, an activist for the indivisible group in the state’s 9th Congressional District, called it a “distraction” and said Cunnigham shouldn’t spend more time talking about it.
“The more he talks about it and brings it up, the more it gets included in the news cycle,” she said, calling it “not helpful.”
In private, however, the Democrats expressed frustration at the circumstances that were driving them off course in a race previously seen as leaning in their direction. Staff are waiting for polls to show if the news will cause permanent damage to Cunningham or if the race will remain stable. But the distraction itself has made some angry.
“I’m nervous. I don’t feel good about it. Everyone’s going to show a brave face,” said a Democrat, who was involved in Senate races and asked for anonymity to speak openly keep going.”
Moving on could prove difficult given the steady amount of new information over the past few days. After The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that Arlene Guzman Todd confirmed the relationship, her husband, whom she was separated from, told the Raleigh News and Observer on Wednesday that Cunningham should end the race.
An army official also confirmed that he is conducting an investigation into the matter, although no further details of the investigation were clear.
Cunningham spokeswoman Rachel Petri said in a statement that Cunningham, a 47-year-old lieutenant colonel in the reserves, would be participating in the army’s investigation.
Bryan Bender contributed to this report.