Husband of Cal Cunningham’s mistress calls on North Carolina Senate hopeful to drop out: Report
The husband of a public relations strategist who admitted to an affair with U.S. Senate candidate Cal Cunningham called Wednesday for the North Carolina Democrat to drop out of his race against Republican incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis, according to a report.
Army veteran Jeremy Todd, who injured his spine during a paratrooper proficiency jump, spoke out after his wife, Arlene Guzman Todd, acknowledged having a relationship with Cunningham “during a period of marital separation.” The military veteran said Cunningham, a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve, “chose to repeatedly engage in activities that would hurt his family and a fellow junior officer and veteran” and should end his Senate campaign.
“If elected, I can only imagine how misplaced his judgment would be for the people he’s charged to represent,” Jeremy Todd said in a statement obtained by the News & Observer. “I firmly believe Mr. Cunningham should drop out of the Senate race and ask that his behavior and actions be reviewed under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.”
Cunningham drew national scrutiny after a conservative media outlet obtained text messages exchanged between him and Guzman Todd. The Army Reserve has begun an investigation into the situation, according to the report. Extramarital affairs are a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Cunningham, a 47-year-old married father of two, apologized for his conduct but has so far ignored calls to drop out of the race.
“I have hurt my family, disappointed my friends, and am deeply sorry. The first step in repairing those relationships is taking complete responsibility, which I do,” Cunningham said in the statement. “I ask that my family’s privacy be respected in this personal matter.”
Guzman Todd confirmed that she had a pair of in-person encounters with Cunningham since March, including one in July in North Carolina in which they were intimate, the Associated Press reported.
“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 said. “The relationship spanned several months and consisted primarily of a series of text exchanges and an in-person encounter.”
Jeremy Todd told the News & Observer that some of the text messages purportedly exchanged between his wife and a third party were “completely fabricated.”
Earlier Wednesday, Cunningham dodged questions about the situation during an interview with a local media outlet. Recent polls showed Cunningham with a lead in the Senate race.
Tillis, who has served in the Senate since 2015, said Tuesday that his opponent “owes the people of North Carolina a full explanation.”