Updated: 2:30 p.m.Former North Carolina state Sen. Cal Cunningham (D) informed supporters Monday night that he will pass on the 2010 Senate race. Cunningham generated some interest among party leaders as a possible recruit should Rep. Bob Etheridge (D) decline to run.Etheridge is expected to announce this week whether he will enter the race against Sen. Richard Burr (R), and a decision from the highly recruited Congressman could come as soon as today.Cunningham, a lawyer who also served in the Iraq War, said he decided against a Senate bid because of the stress it would put on his family. After a very careful look, Ive concluded that this is the wrong race at the wrong time for me and my family, Cunningham wrote in a message to a group of supporters. Here on the eve of Veterans Day, I am reminded of the over 900 days our family has been separated because of active military service in the last few years. Today, I choose to be home.Cunningham, who is popular among progressives in the Tar Heel State, had been quietly putting together a campaign organization in recent months, and in his message Monday he made sure to thank the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for its encouragement and guidance on putting together a campaign team.As Democrats continue to cast about for a candidate in a state they have referred to as a top-tier target in 2010, Burr has spent the year building his campaign war chest. The Senator raised about $1.2 million in the third quarter and had about $3.5 million in the bank as of Sept. 30.Etheridge is expected to announce this week whether he will enter the race against Burr. Etheridge spokesman Don Owens said Tuesday that Etheridge had hoped to make a decision by last weekend but the health care vote pushed it back.He will make a decision this week, just not today, Owens said. Hes spent the last [few] days with his family. Its down to the family discussion, and that plays a big part in the decision.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.