Burr attracts challengers from both parties in Senate race

by Keith Barber

Cal Cunningham, a Lexington lawyer, filed his candidacy with the NC Board of Elections to run for the US Senate seat currently held by Republican Richard Burr on Feb. 11. A few hours later, the Democratic candidate held a press conference at Pilot Mill in Raleigh, where he described his Republican opponent as “a symbol of what’s wrong in Washington.”

Cunningham, a former state Senator, said Burr has been part of the partisanship, gridlock and inaction in Congress that has gotten our country into the “mess that we’re in today.”

“He hasn’t done his job in Washington to protect our jobs here in North Carolina,” Cunningham said. “Our inability to name his achievements after 16 years in Congress is because he hasn’t given this job the vigor that it demands or requires.”

A father of two, Cunningham received the Bronze Star while serving in the Iraq war. A captain and paratrooper in the US Army Reserves, the 35-year-old Cunningham received the medal for “exceptionally meritorious service to the United States” as a member of the Army’s Judge Advocate General Corps.

Democrats Ken Lewis and Marcus W. Williams have also filed to run for US Senate. NC Secretary of State Elaine Marshall has publicly announced her plans to seek the Democratic nomination but had not yet filed with the board of elections as of Monday afternoon.

Richard Burr, the Republican incumbent, had not yet filed for reelection as of Monday. Republicans Eddie Burks and Brad Jones will challenge Burr in the May 4 primary. The filing period for all candidates ends Feb. 26.

— Keith T. Barber

Democrat Cal Cunningham launched his campaign to unseat Republican Sen. Richard Burr in Raleigh last week. (photo by Frank Eaton).