After hammering each other for weeks during the primary runoff, former Democratic Senate rivals Elaine Marshall and Cal Cunningham held a love-in Wednesday, one day after Marshall clinched her party's nomination.
Marshall and Cunningham stood side-by side at a news conference at state Democratic Party headquarters, Rob Christensen reports. Cunningham pledged to work hard for Marshall, and Marshall expressed appreciation for Cunningham's support.
Cunningham, the former state senator who lost by a 60-40 percent margin to Marshall, talked about her “grit and determination.”
“I can't think of a stronger, more tenacious person to put in this U.S. Senate seat to replace Richard Burr and put this seat back to work for the people of this state,” he said before about two dozen Democrats.
“I want to thank Cal, the newest member of the campaign team,” said Marshall, the four-term secretary of state. “We are pleased and honored to have you. “
“I'm proud of the opponents that I have faced,” she said. “I am proud for us to be standing together to beat Richard Burr.”
Introducing Cunningham was Chapel Hill lawyer Ken Lewis, who finished third in the first primary and endorsed Marshall in the runoff.
Such unity events are traditional. But Wednesday's event was called after Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele said the Senate primary had left the North Carolina Democratic Party “largely fractured” and Texas Sen. John Cornyn had called it “a divisive primary battle.