Democrat US Senate candidates slammed for fundraising with Cal Cunningham after scandal

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Republicans are dinging Democratic Senate candidates for participating in fundraising events with North Carolina candidate Cal Cunningham after he admitted to an extramarital affair earlier this month.

Online invites show that Cunningham was part of joint fundraising events on Oct. 8 and Oct. 11 with fellow Democrats including Georgia candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, Maine candidate Sara Gideon and Montana candidate Gov. Steve Bullock.

"It's despicable that Jon Ossoff raised tens of thousands of dollars with Cal Cunningham, who is now facing accusations of whether he used campaign funds for the benefit of his extramarital relationship with the wife of a combat veteran," incumbent Sen. David Perdue's spokesman John Burke told Fox News. "Ossoff owes the people of Georgia an answer on why he chose to raise campaign funds with someone so lacking in basic human decency."

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"Instead of working to help the people of Maine, Speaker Gideon has been raising money with Cal Cunningham, another one of Chuck Schumer’s handpicked candidates, who is currently under investigation by the U.S. Army Reserve," a spokesperson for Sen. Susan Collins' campaign told Fox News. 

"Cunningham and Gideon have a total of seven joint fundraising committees, and Sara Gideon has received nearly $80,000 from these joint efforts since late September alone. We’re curious — will Sara be keeping the money?" the spokesperson added.

Some joint fundraising committees that include Cunningham have proven quite effective for the candidates involved. For instance, Blue Senate 2020 has funneled more than $34,000 to Cunningham's campaign and $38,000 to Ossoff this year, according to FEC records.

Cunningham's campaign benefited from an Oct. 8 virtual fundraiser hosted by GiveGreen that also included Bullock, Ossoff, Warnock, Iowa candidate Theresa Greenfield, South Carolina candidate Jaime Harrison and Kansas candidate Barbara Bollier.

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Cunningham was also listed as a beneficiary of Senate 180's Oct. 11 virtual fundraiser including Greenfield, Ossoff, Harrison and Texas candidate MJ Hegar.

It's unclear if Republicans' line of attack will work on candidates who haven't cut ties with Cunningham, who admitted in early October to romantic texts with a woman who is not his wife. The woman later said they had a physical relationship.

Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham, left, and U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C. greet each other after a televised debate Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020 in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, Pool)

Nevertheless, Cunningham still leads Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., in the polls and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is sticking by Cunningham, who pulled in more than $28 million in the most recent quarter ending in September. By contrast, Tillis pulled in $6.6 million.

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Fox News' inquiries to the Ossoff, Warnock, Bullock, Greenfield, Gideon, Bollier, Harrison and Hegar campaigns were not returned at the time of publication.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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