Cunningham faces two already-announced candidates for the Democratic nomination to challenge U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, a Republican. Both Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Durham lawyer Kenneth Lewis have been campaigning for weeks.
Today's announcement follows awkward juggling by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which tried to recruit bigger names into the race and took so long doing so that Cunningham, who had been exploring a bid, opted out last month.
Cunningham dispatched a mass email at 9:45 a.m. with the subject line, "We're in," writing:
I'm eager to work hard and to lead -- creating jobs, protecting our state's military communities, strengthening our schools, and lowering health care costs. I'll take the fight to the irresponsible Wall Street firms, the corporate interests, and the culture of recklessness that triggered our economic crisis -- and squandered billions while millions of Americans lost jobs and were pushed out of their homes.
Voters can expect to hear A LOT about Cunningham's time as a military lawyer in Iraq, which was the eighth word in the press release from his consultants and in the third paragraph of his own message, woven throughout both.