The Endorsement Of Cal Cunningham

North Carolina has a lot of political problems. One of them is its Congressional delegation. In my case I am currently “represented” in the Senate by Richard Burr and Thom Tillis; in the House by “Sleeping” (and thankfully retiring) George Holding. The good news (in addition to having been moved into David Price’s district for the next Congress) is that Tillis’ seat is up in 2020. With all that and much more in mind please continue as I explain why today is endorsing Cal Cunningham for the United States Senate from North Carolina.

A few years ago I left the Democratic Party organization (but not the Party itself) and in the process resigned a County Chairmanship. That freed me to endorse in a primary. North Carolina has early voting (which the Republicans are continually trying to sabotage or eliminate) and I took advantage of it casting my Super Tuesday votes on its first day. Among the votes I casted, I voted for Cunningham in a five person contest, (more about that later).

Let’s look at Cal:

Cal transferred from Vanderbilt to The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he earned his bachelor’s and law degrees. He did a summer at American University in DC during which he interned for powerhouse Michigan Senator Carl Levin. He also picked up a master’s degree in Public Policy & Public Administration from the world renowned London School of Economics.

At 27 he was elected to the North Carolina State Senate becoming the youngest person ever elected to that body at that time. Today, still in his forties he has held too many civic service spots to outline here today.

Immediately after 9/11 Cal volunteered in the Army Reserve and rose to the rank of Major. He served in both Iraq (where he earned the Bronze Star) and Afghanistan. Fighting terrorism and the Middle East are vexing problems that America faces. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to have one of the people in charge of confronting them be someone who actually knows the situation from the ground?

I won’t get into the plethora of awards Cal has received over his adulthood. Again, it would be too long of a list.

Cunningham cares about access to health care, campaign finance reform, class size, public education, the environment, the preservation of farmland, victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, women’s rights, guns in schools along with the opioid crisis. Unlike many candidates he has not only given them lip service; he has worked on them.

If you judge people by the company they keep you will be interested in Cunningham’s endorsers. They are listed on his website and are a who’s who of North Carolina Democratic politics.

Politics and dirty tricks:

I had voted for and decided to endorse Cal before some of this news broke but I would be remise not to look at this aspect of the 2020 North Carolina U.S. Senate race.

North Carolina is one of several southern states with a threshold law in primaries. It is a holdover from Jim Crow days when the powers to be wanted to make sure that a black candidate couldn’t slip in if more than one white candidate ran and split the white vote. In North Carolina it is 40% and with a five way race that is a high bar.

About a week or so ago I noticed one of Cal’s opponents suddenly had a large TV presence. The ads were paid for by some group with an “apple pie” sounding name. Investigative reporters discovered that Republican Senate Majority Leader Moscow Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is behind the $3 million that suddenly materialized for one of Cal’s opponents. One of the two things Mitch cares about is preserving his majority in the Senate. (The other certainly isn’t America!) Tillis is one of the most vulnerable Republicans in 2020 and Mitch needs to keep him in the fold. While Cunningham is likely to have the Democratic slot in November in any event, if he was denied the 40% and forced into a runoff that would eat up both time and money giving Tillis a better shot at reelection.

With all that considered it is with pride and with hope for the nation that endorses Cal Cunningham for the United States Senate from its home state of North Carolina.

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