The ads will arrive on the airwaves on Tuesday and are part of a $4 million existing ad buy in North Carolina, the Senate Leadership Fund told Fox News.
The ad spotlights the Cunningham sexting scandal that exploded a few days ago.
In the spot, the announcer says “politician Cal Cunningham hid the extramarital affair for months. But Cunningham got caught sending sexually explicit messages to a woman who is not his wife. Cal Cunningham — what else is he hiding?”
Cunningham apologized for the steamy texts with public relations strategist Arlene Guzman Todd, but there’s no evidence of a physical “affair” as the ad seems to suggest.
“Affairs are not necessarily a physical relationship — they constitute a romantic attachment outside of marriage that can — or may not — be physical,” a Senate Leadership Fund official told Fox News. “Though if Cunningham wanted to clear that up he could certainly do so. He’s refusing to answer any questions about it.”
Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham, left, and U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C. talk during a televised debate Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020 in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, Pool)
The GOP controls the Senate but is defending 23 of the 35 seats up for grabs this year. The race in North Carolina is one of the most crucial of 2020.
“Cal owes the people of North Carolina a full and thorough explanation,” Tillis told “Fox & Friends.”
“On the debate stage last week, Cal said it’s about integrity, and I agree. His family should be kept private, he’s got teenage children but Cal owes North Carolinians, all of the voters a full and thorough explanation.”
The Senate Leadership Fund is the leading outside group supporting Republican Senate candidates and incumbents running for re-election, and it is closely aligned with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Fox News’ inquiry to the Cunningham campaign was not immediately returned.