Cal Cunningham Concedes To Senator Thom Tillis In North Carolina
Cal Cunningham, the Democrat challenging Senator Thom Tillis, Republican of North Carolina, conceded the race on Tuesday after a protracted vote count, as the incumbent appeared headed for a narrow victory in a crucial swing state that would bolster his partys hold on the Senate.
Mr. Tillis, 60, had been one of the Democrats top targets this year, a decidedly unpopular first-term Republican in a fast-growing and increasingly competitive state. But he was able to capitalize on unexpected Republican strength in North Carolina to outrun Mr. Cunningham, who was damaged by late revelations of an extramarital affair.
With a vast majority of votes counted, Mr. Tillis was leading by just under 100,000 votes, according to Edison Research, in an election that drew more voters and political spending than any in the states history. Mr. Tillis took a lead on election night and never lost it, but because of an influx of mail-in ballots, the result was still not official on Thursday, long after most other races were called.
In a pre-emptive victory speech last week, Mr. Tillis said North Carolinians were letting everybody know that the truth still does matter, letting everybody know that character still matters, and letting everybody know that keeping your promises still matters.
Who Is Thom Tillis
Thom Tillis, who turned 60 in August, was elected as North Carolinas junior senator in 2014.
Tillis was born in Jacksonville, Florida but his family moved more than a dozen times during his childhood. Tillis never attended the same school two years in a row, as his family lived in New Orleans, as well as Nashville, Tennessee. He has a bachelors degree in technology management from the University of Maryland.
Thom Tillis lives with his wife, Susan, in Huntersville, North Carolina. They have two grown children and two grandchildren, according to his campaign bio.
Thom Tillis public service career began as the PTA president of his daughters high school. He was also a member of the Town of Cornelius Board of Commissioners. In 2006, he was voted to the North Carolina House of Representatives. From 2011-2014, he served as speaker of the North Carolina House.
New Lines Favor Democrats
In the Democratic primary in the 2nd District, Deborah Ross, a former state representative and state director for the American Civil Liberties Union who unsuccessfully ran for Senate in 2016, was leading with 70 percent when the AP called the race with 59 percent of precincts reporting.
Wake County School Board Member Monika Johnson-Hostler, who had backing of the Congressional Black Caucus PAC, was in second with 20 percent.
Alan Swain, a defense contractor & retired Army colonel, was unopposed in the 2nd District GOP primary.
In the 6th District, Kathy Manning was leading the Democratic field with 49 percent when the AP called the race with 74 percent of precincts reporting. Manning, a philanthropist and former immigration lawyer, was the 2018 Democratic nominee for the old 13th District, which she lost to GOP Rep. Ted Budd.
Rhonda Foxx, a former chief of staff to North Carolina Rep. Alma Adams, was in second with 20 percent.
Manning will face Republican Lee Haywood, a district GOP chairman, in November.
Both Ross and Manning will be in strong positions to win their general elections. Inside Elections rates both races Likely Democratic.
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Early Life And Education
Tillis was born in Jacksonville, Florida, the son of Margie and Thomas Raymond Tillis, a boat draftsman. He was the oldest boy among six children, with three older sisters. One of his brothers, Thomas Richard “Rick” Tilllis, served in the Tennessee House of Representatives. By age 17, his family had moved 20 times, and Tillis never attended the same school in consecutive years, living in New Orleans and Nashville, among other places.
Following his 1978 graduation from high school, Tillis left home to get a job. He then attended Chattanooga State Community College before receiving a Bachelor of Science in technology management from the University of Maryland University College in 1996.
Incumbent Sen Thom Tillis Victorious In Nc After Democratic Challenger Concedes
By Linda Jacobson | November 11, 2020
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North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis claimed victory over Democrat Cal Cunningham a week ago, but it wasnt until Tuesday that the challenger, his campaign weighed down by revelations of an extramarital affair, accepted the outcome.
With results still unofficial on Tuesday and 98 percent of precincts reporting, Cunningham, who received 47 percent of the vote, conceded the victory to Tillis, who received 48.7 percent.
The end of this campaign does not mark the end of our need to improve access to health care, strengthen education, heal racial wounds, and create better jobs, Cunningham wrote in his response, which he posted on Twitter. These are causes that still must be championed.
In a race that also saw a positive COVID-19 test for Tillis, the incumbents victory was unexpected. Despite the affair, Cunningham had been leading in the polls up until Election Day, with 53 percent of the vote.
The outcome of the race was considered a factor in deciding who controls the Senate during the next administration. Tilliss win tips the balance in the GOPs favor 49 to 48.
The impact of the affair
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Republican Senator Tillis Clinches Reelection As Cunningham Concedes
By David Morgan
3 Min Read
WASHINGTON – Democrat Cal Cunningham, who had been considered the leader for a U.S. Senate seat in North Carolina until his campaign was undermined by a sex scandal, on Tuesday conceded the closely fought contest to Republican incumbent Thom Tillis.
Edison Research also called the race for Tillis. The result essentially confirms that control of the Senate — and with it the power to support or block much of Democratic President-elect Joe Bidens agenda — will be decided in a pair of Jan. 5 runoff elections in Georgia.
Cunninghams concession a week after the Nov. 3 election gives Tillis a second six-year term in the Senate and ends a race that Democrats had once seen as one of their best shots to take control of the upper chamber of Congress.
The voters have spoken and I respect their decision, Cunningham, 47, a former state senator, said in a statement after he called Tillis to congratulate him.
Tillis, 60, who trailed Cunningham in pre-election opinion polls and won re-election by less than 2 percentage points, said he was humbled by the victory.
I pledge to continue keeping my promises and delivering results, Tillis posted on Twitter. This was a hard-fought campaign and I wish nothing but the best to Cal and his family going forward.
In October, Cunningham confirmed that he had exchanged sexually suggestive messages with a woman who was not his wife and apologized for his behavior.
People Remember How Good Their Lives Were Back In February Senator Thom Tillis Says
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Thom Tillis of North Carolina is seeking re-election in November, but he could face a tough challenge from Democrat Cal Cunningham who is currently leading in the polls.
To argue for himself and his party, Mr Tillis has said voters should think about how strong the economy was under Republican leadership prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
The stakes are very high this election, but you know why I know were going to win? Mr Tillis asked during the North Carolina Republican convention, held virtually on Friday evening. Because people remember how good their lives were back in February.
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Thom Tillis: A Republican In Need Of Outcomes
VIDEO: Senator Tillis on why being an effective Senator and producing results means being willing to reach across the aisle. to watch the video. to download the video. Im tired of talking heads and pundits and people who have never produced a conservative outcome trying to tell me how to get a result. Ive got a strong conservative record in North Carolina, whether its Second Amendment, property rights, life, I can go down a very long list. But that way Ive accomplished that is by not being mad about being conservative. Its by being productive and convincing Democrats to join with us on bills that make sense. You have RINOs and DINOs . Ive told people I want HIPPOs: Highly Independent People Producing Outcomes. Weve got to be willing to turn to the people in both conferences who hold extreme views and say youre clearly not here to produce an outcome, youre here to make a point. Well, Im here to make a difference, and Im looking for other people who want to make a difference. Senator Tillis has worked across the aisle to tackle problems and produce outcomes.
What Does Thom Tillis Want
The Republican candidate for Senate from North Carolina has shown a remarkable knack for moving up in the ranks, but he seems less sure what to do once he gets there.
Thom Tillis is a man in a hurry. He went from city councilor to North Carolina House speaker in just five years. Four months into his second term as speaker, he was running for U.S. Senate. The man who would hand the Republicans control of the Senate has been a lot of things in a short amount of time. And while he seems to know where hes going, its less clear that he knows what hell do once he gets there.
Tillis started his political career as a city councilor in Cornelius, a wealthy suburb of Charlotte. In 2006, after a single term, he upset a Republican incumbent in a primary for a state House seat. Like all freshmen, Tillis arrived in Raleigh as a backbencher, but he quickly impressed his Republican colleagues, who chose him freshman leader. In just his second term, he joined the House GOP leadership as minority whip.
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Republican Thom Tillis Claims Victory In North Carolina
But Democrat Cal Cunningham hasn’t conceded
Sen. Thom Tillis declared victory over Democrat Cal Cunningham, who in the weeks before the election became embroiled in a scandal and admitted to sending sexually suggestive texts to a woman.
With 100% of the precincts reporting, Tillis leads by 96,000 votes. Unofficial results showed him with 2.64 million votes and Cunningham with 2.54 million votes. But more than 117,000 absentee ballots remain outstanding, and it was unclear how many will be returned, WRAL reported.
What we accomplished tonight was a stunning victory, Tillis said.
Cunningham was scheduled to speak at the Democratic Party headquarters in Raleigh on Tuesday, but around midnight, the party announced he would not deliver remarks.
The race is set to go down as the most expensive contest in Senate history, with the candidates and outside groups spending more than $287 million on the race, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Early on, North Carolina was expected to be a win for the GOP in the Senate. But even after a sex scandal, the race grew tighter as Election Day approached. The final polling average tabulated by Real Clear Politics put Cunningham up by 2.6% 47.6%b to 45%.
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Who Is Cal Cunningham
James Calvin Cal Cunningham, who turned 47 in August, is a former North Carolina Senator who was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Cunningham was a member of the North Carolina State Senate from 2001 through 2003. At the time of his election, Cal Cunningham was the youngest senator in North Carolina, representing parts of Davidson, Rowan and Iredell counties.
Cal Cunningham attended Vanderbilt University before transferring to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he graduated in 1996 with a degree in political science and philosophy. Cunningham and his wife, Elizabeth, live in Raleigh with their two teenage children, Will and Caroline.
In 2002, following the September 11 terrorist attacks, Cunningham volunteered to serve in the U.S. Army Reserve. He has served three active duties in Iraq and Afghanistan. Cal Cunningham was awarded the Bronze Star and the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award for his role in helping prosecute contractors for criminal misconduct.
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In Blow To Democrats Republican Thom Tillis Wins Re
Democrat Cal Cunningham conceded to Republican Sen. Thom Tillis in the North Carolina race Tuesday, increasing the stakes in the outcomes of Georgias Senate races, which appear likely to determine control of the chamber.
NBC News had projected the race as too close to call, but declared Tillis the winner shortly after Cunningham conceded the race. The win gives Republicans 49 seats in the Senate, while Democrats have 48, with two races in Georgia and one in Alaska still outstanding.
I just called Senator Tillis to congratulate him on winning re-election to a second term in the U.S. Senate and wished him and his family the best in their continued service in the months and years ahead, Cunningham said in a statement. The voters have spoken and I respect their decision.
While the results of this election suggest there remain deep political divisions in our state and nation, he added, the more complete story of our country lies in what unites us: our faith and sense of confidence in our democracy, our civic values and common humanity, our shared aspiration to care for one another, and our belief that we live in a country that does exceptional things.
Democrats would need to win two of the three remaining Senate contests to gain control of the chamber with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote.
Tillis didnt wait for network projections he declared victory after the polls closed on Election Day.
Manchin Calls For ‘greater Understanding’ As Dems Fume Over Bbb Opposition
Thom Tillis, the GOP senator from North Carolina, has won re-election after a nail-biting, days-long count, handing the Republican Party a major victory as it looks to hold onto control of the Senate.
Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham called the incumbent on Tuesday, one week after Americans went to the polls, to concede the race.
I just called Senator Tillis to congratulate him on winning reelection to a second term in the U.S. Senate and wished him and his family the best in their continued service in the months and years ahead, Cunningham said in a statement.
It was a close race, Tillis winning with 48.7 percent of the vote compared to Cunninghams 47.6 percent.
Cunninghams bid was also derailed when he admitted to sexting a woman who is not his wife. The revelation came just hours after Tillis announced he had tested positive for coronavirus and was quarantining.
Cunningham, who is a lieutenant colonel in the US Army Reserve, apologized for sending steamy messages to Arlene Guzman Todd, a California consultant married to another soldier, but refused to suspend his campaign.
Tillis re-election means the GOP is one step closer to holding onto the upper chamber of Congress, taking the lead 49-48 with three races still uncalled.
The Alaska race is leaning Republican while two GOP incumbents in Georgia will face another round of elections after all of the candidates fell short of the 50 percent needed to win election.
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Republican Tillis Keeps Senate Seat In North Carolina
North Carolina Republican Thom Tillis has won reelection to the Senate, defeating Democrat Cal Cunningham after a hard-fought campaign and days of counting ballots.
Republicans now have 50 Senate seats in the next Congress, compared with 48 for Democrats. Control of the chamber will be decided by two January runoffs in Georgia, with Republicans needing to win one more seat for a majority. Democrats would win control if it ends up a 50-50 tie because Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would be the tiebreaker.
The North Carolina campaign was marked in the final weeks by Cunninghams acknowledgment of an extramarital affair and Tillis COVID-19 diagnosis.
Cunningham outraised Tillis this year, but Tillis benefited from the fallout after the Democrat admitted to a recent extramarital relationship with a public relations consultant.
Cunningham conceded the race on Tuesday, saying that the voters have spoken and that it was clear Tillis had won.
Left: Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., asks a question during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, on June 16, 2020. Photo by Tom Williams/Pool via REUTERS
Republican Sen Thom Tillis Defeats Democrat Cal Cunningham In North Carolina
Sen. Thom Tillis has won reelection in North Carolina, defeating Democrat Cal Cunningham and spoiling Democrats hopes of gaining a seat in what has been the most expensive Senate race in U.S. history.
Tillis, 60, delivered a devastating blow to Democrats, who had identified him as a target in their quest to take back the Senate majority. The one-term senator had low approval ratings in North Carolina and was unknown to one-third of the electorate. He had been consistently trailing Cunningham, 47, in the lead-up to November, stymied by President Donald Trumps poor numbers in the state.
Cunningham called Tillis to concede on Tuesday, a week after Election Day. The Associated Press has yet to officially call the race.
The voters have spoken and I respect their decision, Cunningham said in a statement after conceding the election. While the results of this election suggest there remain deep political divisions in our state and nation, the more complete story of our country lies in what unites us: our faith and sense of confidence in our democracy, our civic values and common humanity, our shared aspiration to care for one another, and our belief that we live in a country that does exceptional things.
A late-breaking scandal may have nonetheless helped Tillis to victory.
What followed was likely Tillis biggest break in the election, when texts between Cunningham and a woman in California showed that the Democratic candidate was involved in an extramarital affair.