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Cal is a native of Lexington, leader of an environmental services company, Army veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, engaged citizen, husband and a father. He currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Governor’s Crime Commission where he is leading efforts to reduce the risks of gun violence in schools and to fund services for women and families affected by domestic violence and sexual assault.
Cal was born in a trailer park in Winston-Salem while his mom and dad were in school. He was raised in Lexington where his family’s roots run many generations deep and was active in church and Scouts.
After student leadership and honors at UNC-Chapel Hill, Cal returned to Lexington with his wife Elizabeth to practice law and raise a family. In recent years, work and school have taken them – and their teenage kids Caroline and Will – to Raleigh. Elizabeth is also an attorney and works in the field of public education.
At the age of 27, Cal was elected one of the State’s youngest Senators, representing Davidson, Rowan and Iredell Counties. In the Senate, he fought for smaller class sizes, higher teacher pay, university and community college funding and the creation of what is now “NC Pre-K.” Cal was also a leading advocate for landmark clean air legislation, land preservation and campaign finance reform.
Within days of September 11, 2001, Cal applied for a commission in the US Army Reserve and has since volunteered for three active duty tours. For his service overseas, Cal was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the prestigious General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award, in part for ground-breaking work prosecuting contractors for criminal misconduct.
He continues to train special operations forces at Fort Bragg and has been selected for promotion to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Cal is Vice President of WasteZero, a nationally-recognized environmental services and waste reduction company based in Raleigh. By partnering with hundreds of cities and towns, the company reduces carbon and energy impacts in communities by cutting landfilled trash. During Cal’s tenure the company has expanded to 120 jobs, all covered by health insurance, in part thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
Cal has been engaged in his community by establishing a foundation to support his kids’ school, by serving on the board of his local community college, and by working with environmental advocacy organizations and the North Carolina Democratic Party, where has been on the State Executive Committee for many years.
We need a next-generation leader who will work with Governor Roy Cooper to take on the most pressing issues of our time. From a changing economy to college affordability, from social justice to campaign reform, Cal has a record of bringing people together to make progress.