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Raleigh, NC – Today, Cal Cunningham – an Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, business leader, former State Senator, and Vice Chairman of the Governor’s Crime Commission – announced his candidacy to serve as North Carolina’s next United States Senator. Cal’s Senate campaign launched this morning with a video posted to social media highlighting his upbringing and North Carolina roots, his military service, and his commitment to reforming the corrupt political system in Washington that prevents us from tackling the big problems facing families across our state.
Cal is running to replace incumbent Republican Senator Thom Tillis, a Washington politician who has voted to gut protections for North Carolinians with pre-existing conditions, helped add nearly $2 trillion to the national debt with a tax giveaway to wealthy donors and special interests, and played political games with funding for North Carolina military projects. Senator Tillis was recently caught skipping a Veterans’ Affairs hearing to attend a political fundraiser.
“I’m announcing for United States Senate to take on the political corruption that’s standing in the way of progress, and politicians like Thom Tillis who are part of the problem,” says Cal Cunningham in the video. “In this race for Senate, it’s time for somebody who will stand up and fight to build an economy that works for everybody, for the health care that each family deserves, and to reform the corrupt political system in Washington. North Carolinians are hardworking, commonsense, decent, and stubbornly independent people, and you deserve to be represented by somebody who gets it.”
Raised in Lexington, Cal is a lifelong North Carolinian who grew up learning the value of public service and hard work. After earning his undergraduate and law degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Cal returned to Lexington with his wife Elizabeth to raise a family.
At the age of 27, Cal was elected one of the state’s youngest State Senators, representing Davidson, Rowan, and Iredell Counties. Over the course of his term in the legislature, Cal fought for smaller class sizes, higher teacher pay, and investments in early childhood education and our university and community college system. Cal was also a leading advocate for landmark clean air legislation, land preservation, and campaign finance reform.
After the attacks on September 11, 2001, Cal volunteered to join the U.S. Army Reserve and has since served three active duty tours, including overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was awarded the Bronze Star and the prestigious General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award, in part for groundbreaking work prosecuting contractors for criminal misconduct. Cal continues to train special operations forces at Fort Bragg.
Cal helps lead a nationally-recognized environmental services and waste reduction company based in Raleigh. During his tenure, the company has grown and now employs more than 100 people.
Governor Roy Cooper named Cal as Vice Chairman of the Governor’s Crime Commission, where he has been leading efforts to address school gun violence, curb the opioid addiction crisis, and fund services for women and families affected by domestic violence and sexual assault. He has also served as a Trustee of Davidson County Community College and as an ex officio member of the UNC Board of Trustees.
Cal and Elizabeth now live in Raleigh with their two high school-aged kids, Caroline and Will.