Democrat North Carolina Senate hopeful Cal Cunningham cheated on his wife with a woman who has nude photographs of him, according to newly leaked text messages.
First published in a Tuesday report from National File, the alleged exchange between Cunningham’s mistress and her friend further complicates the Democrat candidate’s efforts to get his sex scandal under control as his party seeks to win back the Senate this November.
“That will teach him”
According to the Associated Press, National File previously published a series of sexually suggestive text messages between Cunningham — a married father of two and a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserves — and Arlene Guzman Todd, the wife of a combat veteran.
The site has now published what it says are texts between Guzman Todd and a friend in which Guzman Todd considers ending the affair, complains about a lack of attention, and jokes about leaking nude photos of Cunningham out of spite. “I’m just going to send his opponent his naked photos,” she says, according to screenshots published by National File. “That will teach him.”
Guzman Todd also discusses staying at Cunningham’s family home for a week, remarking that there was “something weird about f****** in another woman’s house,” as Breitbart noted.
Cunningham, for his part, acknowledged the affair Friday, but he has largely struggled to keep up with the developing scandal. Guzman Todd has confirmed the affair to the Associated Press and admitted to a “lapse in judgment.”
“A few months back, I displayed a lapse in judgment by engaging in a relationship with Cal Cunningham during a period of marital separation,” Guzman Todd told the AP. “The relationship spanned several months and consisted primarily of a series of text exchanges and an in-person encounter.”
“He betrayed the trust”
Speaking of judgment lapses, Cunningham is now struggling to rectify the damage of a scandal that could very well hurt his chances in a high-stakes Senate race against Republican incumbent Thom Tillis.
Cunningham is under pressure from his opponent to explain himself to voters, Fox News reports, and Guzman Todd’s husband has called for Cunningham to drop out. But the embattled Democrat has backed away from an unequivocal apology, instead framing the scandal as a partisan distraction that should not weigh on voters’ minds in the coming weeks.
“Because Thom Tillis knows that he is losing and knows that we are winning, he has now resorted to trying to make this campaign about something other than the issues,” Cunningham said Wednesday, according to Fox.
It’s a stance the Tillis campaign has called “insincere.”
“Cunningham is afraid to directly address why and how he betrayed the trust of North Carolinians,” the Republican’s campaign manager, Luke Blanchat, said in a statement, according to Raleigh’s WRAL. “He offered no explanation for his extramarital affairs, instead choosing to read off an insincere apology written by his campaign consultants from D.C., in line with the fake and insincere persona he is trying to sell to North Carolina.”