Cunningham concedes in North Carolina Senate race
North Carolina Senate candidate Cal Cunningham (D) conceded to incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) in the state’s Senate race on Tuesday.
“The voters have spoken and I respect their decision,” Cunningham said in a statement in which he revealed he called Tillis on Tuesday.
“While the results of this election suggest there remain deep political divisions in our state and nation, the more complete story of our country lies in what unites us: our faith and sense of confidence in our democracy, our civic values and common humanity, our shared aspiration to care for one another, and our belief that we live in a country that does exceptional things,” he continued.
The development comes as ballots continue to be counted in the Tar Heel State after a large number of voters cast their ballots by mail this election.
Tillis led Cunningham by over 95,000 votes, according to The Associated Press.
The incumbent senator confirmed he spoke with Cunningham over the phone in a statement on Tuesday.
“This was a hard-fought campaign and I wish nothing but the best to Cal and his family going forward,” Tillis said.
Tillis declared victory in the race last week.
Cunningham’s concession is the latest loss for Democrats, who had hoped to flip a number of key seats, including Tillis’s. Republicans remain in control of the upper chamber for now, but two Senate runoffs in Georgia on Jan. 5 will ultimately determine the future of the chamber.
The North Carolina race was marred by scandal in the final weeks of the campaign. Revelations of an extramarital affair involving Cunningham surfaced in October, while Tillis contracted coronavirus at a White House Rose Garden ceremony for Justice Amy Coney Barrett, which was later deemed a superspreader event.