Democratic Senate candidate Cal Cunningham of North Carolina refused to answer questions Friday about whether he carried on other extramarital affairs after he admitted last week to sending inappropriate text messages to a married woman who is not his wife.
In his first press conference since the scandal broke, Cunningham repeatedly dodged questions about allegations that he had been seeing multiple mistresses.
“I have taken responsibility for the hurt that I’ve caused in my personal life,” Cunningham said, according to the News & Observer. “I apologized to it, I apologized for it. And I know that this campaign — our campaign is about things that are much bigger and more important than just me. It’s about the very issues and people we were just talking to right here.”
Cunningham was caught sexting with Arlene Guzman Todd, a California public relations strategist who is also the wife of an army veteran.
But a week later, another North Carolina-based woman accused Cunningham of another affair.
“He’s been having an affair with a good friend of mine since 2012. Not the woman mentioned in the story. Needless to say, my friend was devastated. But my feeling is, if they’ll cheat WITH you, they’ll cheat ON you!,” Lawyer Elizabeth Brinkman wrote on Facebook, according to National File.
But Cunningham has tried to argue that his personal life has nothing to do with his political campaign against incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis, who he accused of using this scandal to “distract” from important policy issues.
“Of course he’s going to want to talk about my personal life,” Cunningham said. “I’m going to stay focused on North Carolinians.”
Tillis fired back and said that Cunningham owes North Carolina voters “a full and thorough explanation.”
“Cal Cunningham’s recent scandal isn’t just about sex. In fact, it’s mostly about hypocrisy. It’s possible that some voters have become desensitized to sexual immorality from a politician, but what they undeniably still desire above all things is for their elected leaders to be genuine,” Tillis said in a press release on Thursday.