Cal Cunningham has apparently been busy — just not with his wife.
The Democratic Senate candidate whose campaign was roiled last week when it was revealed he’d had a sexting relationship with a campaign consultant, has now been accused of having an affair with a California woman.
The claim is hearsay, but the woman making the allegation, Erin Brinkman, served on Cunningham’s state Senate steering committee from 2009 to 2010.
“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!” reads a screengrab of a Facebook comment written by Erin Brinkman that was published by NationalFile.com on Monday.
Cunningham, who has led in polls throughout the summer and raked in a record-setting $28.3 million in donations over the past three months, apologized Friday for the romantic text messages that he sent.
Cunningham canceled a town hall scheduled for Monday, perhaps fearing the other shoe would drop — or perhaps several shoes.
According to WUNC’s Jeff Tiberii, Cunningham backed out of a previously-scheduled appearance to talk to voters on Monday afternoon.
“I’m disappointed for the organizers who worked hard to put this together; also that we will not hear from Cunningham about sexually suggestive texts he sent to a woman (not his wife, nor mother of his children). Fascinated to see when he publicly addresses this,” Tiberri said in a tweet Monday.
For his part, incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis is trying to find the best way to exploit the situation. He’s one of the most vulnerable GOP senators and is running in one of the most crucial Senate races in the country. If Tillis can keep his seat, it will be a tall order for Democrats to flip the senate.
Tillis sought to keep the heat on Cunningham.
Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina said his Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham owes voters a “full and thorough” explanation after Cunningham admitted to sexting with a woman who is not his wife and asked for “privacy” for his family.
“Cal is trying to finesse it as an errant text, but we now have a second report,” Tillis told “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday. “Cal owes the people of North Carolina a full explanation. On the debate stage last week, Cal said it’s about integrity and I agree. His family should be kept private, he’s got teenage children but Cal owes North Carolinians, all of the voters a full and thorough explanation.”
Tillis is not being serious of course. What is there to explain? Cunningham is a serial adulterer running on his honesty and integrity. His wife, like most wives in that situation, likely knows full well the character of the man she married but puts up with his indiscretions for the sake of the family.
But now her pain is out in the open. Will she “stand by her man”? Being a politician’s wife, she knows the drill. She may take the kids and go home to mother, but win or lose, she’s likely to be standing next to him on election night.