Cunningham Announces Senate Campaign in North Carolina

Posted December 7, 2009 at 10:16am

Former North Carolina state Sen. Cal Cunningham (D) on Monday morning officially threw his hat into the race against Sen. Richard Burr (R) in 2010.

“Right now, more than ever, the people of North Carolina need someone to fight for them against special interests gaming the system at the expense of taxpayers and small businesses,— said Cunningham, a lawyer who also served in the Iraq War.

After contemplating the race earlier this year, Cunningham had originally passed on the Senate race last month citing the desire to spend more time with his family following his time spent overseas. But after the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee made a renewed push to recruit him late last month, word leaked out last week that Cunningham had reversed course on the Senate race.

Cunningham, who is popular among progressives in the Tar Heel State, wasted little time in attacking Burr in his announcement Monday.

“For years, while our families were watching their jobs disappear and their quality of life evaporate, Richard Burr was voting right down the party line with George Bush to bankrupt our country, send our jobs overseas and give away the store to the oil companies and the insurance industry,— Cunningham said. “Richard Burr has become a textbook example of what’s wrong in Washington. He refuses to accept responsibility and demands no fiscal accountability.—

Despite the fact that he’s the choice of the national party, Cunningham will not have a clear path to the Democratic nomination.

Attorney Kenneth Lewis (D) is in the race. Lewis filed in June and had $184,000 in cash on hand as of Sept. 30. Also in the race is North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall (D), who, in less than a month of fundraising, reported $178,000 in receipts. Marshall, who ran in the 2002 open-seat race but finished a disappointing third in the primary, ended the quarter with $164,000 in cash on hand.