(The Center Square) – Trailing in most polls during the final month of the campaign, incumbent North Carolina Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis appears to have proven pollsters wrong in his race against Democrat challenger Cal Cunningham.
With 100% of precincts reporting, Tillis led Cunningham 48.7% to 46.9% in the race for the U.S. Senate. Although Tillis claimed victory, The Associated Press had not called the race and Cunningham had not conceded. There were 117,000 outstanding absentee ballots still to be counted.
Libertarian Shannon Bray had 3.1% of the vote, and the Constitution Party’s Kevin Hayes had 1.2%.
“Thank you for this historic victory, North Carolina!” Tillis tweeted. “Looking forward to SIX MORE YEARS of fighting for you and your family in the U.S. Senate.”
Cunningham’s campaign was dogged in the closing weeks of the election by revelations of infidelity after he acknowledged sexting with a woman who is not his wife.
Cunningham led slightly in most polling throughout October.
Tillis tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 2, days after attending a ceremony at the White House to introduce Amy Coney Barrett as President Donald Trump’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Tillis was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2014 and served as a state representative for eight years before that. He was the speaker of the House from 2011-2015.
Cunningham, an attorney who also ran for the U.S. Senate in 2010, served in the North Carolina Senate from 2001-2003 and as vice chairman of Gov. Roy Cooper’s Crime Commission.
Hayes’ background includes owning a computer repair business and corporate, financial, education and retail information technology work. Bray works for the U.S. Department of Defense.
This article was originally published on Tillis claims victory in North Carolina U.S. Senate race