The November election is coming up, so The Daily Tar Heel is breaking down every state and local office on the ballot, from governor to county commissioner. Here, we broke down who the North Carolina candidates are for U.S. Senate.
The race for North Carolina’s U.S. Senate seat hit national headlines Friday when a source leaked Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham’s extramarital romantic texts just three hours after Republican incumbent Thom Tillis tested positive for COVID-19 — but both candidates say their platforms remain priorities heading into the election.
Thom Tillis, a one-term Republican incumbent from Huntersville, defeated Democrat Kay Hagan for his current seat following a career in business and a term as speaker of the N.C. House from 2011-2014.
Tillis, who worked his way through college over 18 years and eventually became a partner at IBM, said over email that his upbringing gives him understanding of the difficulty of embarking on career paths during a time of widespread financial instability.
“I understand what it’s like to have to work your way up with limited opportunities and that’s why I want to be a voice for the next generation of North Carolinians,” Tillis said.
Cal Cunningham, Tillis’ Democratic challenger, is a Lexington native who received an undergraduate and law degree from UNC.
Cunningham was elected to one term as a state senator at age 27, representing Davidson, Iredell and Rowan counties, and went on to serve three active duty terms in the U.S. Army following the 9/11 attacks.
According to his campaign’s website, Cunningham currently works as the leader of an environmental services company. He continues to serve in the U.S. Army Reserve as a lieutenant colonel.
In a survey conducted by the DTH, UNC students said the issues they care about most are health care, student debt, civil rights, wages/labor, the environment and LGBTQ+ rights and policies. Here's where both candidates stand on some of these issues.