Democrats Kathy Manning and Cal Cunningham win big in races for Congress and Senate on Super Tuesday.

By 10:45 p.m., Kathy Manning’s campaign was celebrating and
cheering inside South End Brewing in downtown Greensboro.

With about 90 percent of precincts reporting across Guilford
and Forsyth counties, Manning’s campaign had declared victory in the race for
the newly drawn 6th Congressional District. Manning gathered 48.4
percent of the vote statewide, while Rhonda Foxx and Bruce Davis fought for a
far-off second place with 19.9 and 15.1 percent respectively.

“Thank you all for everything you have done to get us to
this night,” Manning said in her victory speech. “Since the moment I decided to
run, I have been overwhelmed by the number of people who have jumped in to
help…. You have lifted me up with your enthusiasm, and I want you to know how
much that has meant to me.”

After thanking her supporters and her team, Manning
congratulated her opponents and talked about the importance of the new
district. She ran against four other candidates in the race including Foxx,
Davis, Derwin Montgomery and Ed Hanes Jr.

“It is a privilege to run for office,” Manning said. “It is
a particular privilege to run in this newly drawn 6th district. A
district that makes sense, a Triad district that includes all of Guilford
County, all of Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem, because this is a
district that has so much in common. We have all suffered from the loss of
manufacturing jobs and we all have significant portions of our community that
have not shared in the economic recovery that our president likes to crow
about.”

In addition to leveling criticism against Donald Trump,
Manning pointed to specific issues facing the district including food
insecurity, homelessness, underfunded schools, increasing gun violence and
threats to the environment.

Going forward, Manning said she and voters have two goals to
keep in mind for November. At the federal level, Manning talked about the
importance of keeping the House and flipping the Senate and getting a new
president elected. At the state level, she used similar language and talked
about re-electing Gov. Roy Cooper, Attorney General Josh Stein and flipping the
state House and Senate.

“I know that sounds like a tall order, but it’s critical
that we do everything we can to achieve these goals because it’s the only way
we’re going to get our country back on track,” Manning said.

Manning,
who lost to Rep. Ted Budd for the 13th Congressional District seat
in 2018, proved to be a prolific fundraiser during, drawing in more than $4.2
million for that campaign. According to the state board of election, Manning
had raised $871,471.72 since January 2019 for this year’s election cycle and
had $436,280 cash on hand. Foxx, who came in second, raised $130,773, while
Davis, who came in third, raised $5,085.

Anthony Gutierrez, a 24-year-old voter, said that he was swayed by
Manning’s strong advertising campaign.

“I voted for Kathy Manning mostly because of all the ads that
she’s been putting out,” he said at the Piedmont Baptist Association, where he
voted on Tuesday. “I looked up on some of what she wants to do, and I think she
can get some bills passed that would make a difference.”

Just
down the street, Davis sat in front of a computer screen in his campaign office
in downtown Greensboro.

“So
far, I see a lot of precincts that haven’t come in yet, the larger precincts
that we’re hoping will do well, especially the High Point precincts,” Davis
said. “So we’re just still kind of hopeful looking at things as they progress.”

Foxx
said that she wanted to congratulate Manning on her victory.

“At
this point, we need to unite as Democrats so we can defeat Trump and Thom
Tillis,” she said. “And I’m proud that a woman will go to represent this district
in Congress.”

In
the US Senate race, Cal Cunningham called his victory much earlier in the night,
when he shared a tweet by the Associated Press that declared him the winner at
around 8:45 p.m. on Facebook.

“Thank
you, North Carolina. I am honored to be your Democratic nominee for US Senate,”
Cunningham wrote.

Like
Manning, Cunningham won by a large margin in his race, with 57.0percent
of the vote statewide against Erica Smith, who came in second with 34.0 percent,
Trevor Fuller with 3.8 percent and Steve Swenson and Atul Goel, who both got
less than 3 percent each.

Cal Cunningham

In
February, Republican operatives flooded airwaves with ads supporting
Cunningham’s opponent, Smith, which stoked indignation among Democratic voters
who were angry about GOP interference. One voter on Tuesday said that the GOP
ploy may have worked in Cunningham’s favor.

“It just bothered me the way the Republican PAC associated
themselves with Erica Smith,” said Betty Marks, a 70-year-old African American
woman who voted at Piedmont Baptist Association on Tuesday. “And I think
that may hurt her in this election because a lot of people don’t understand
that she didn’t have anything to do with it.”

Marks said that after the news about the interference came out,
that it made her wonder if Cunningham had a chance to win against Tillis.

Prior to the election, the Charlotte Observer and the News
& Observer,
noted that Cunningham was the safer bet to beat Tillis in
November.

“For
primary voters who are concerned more with choosing a candidate most equipped
to beat Tillis,” the editorial panel said, “Cunningham offers the clearest path
forward. His more moderate positions on issues such as healthcare will appeal
to the persuadable voters that Democrats need for a repeat of the 2018 blue
wave, and Tillis surely would prefer to spend the summer telling those
center-to-right North Carolinians about Smith’s Medicare for All support and
advocacy of marijuana legalization.”

In an interview with Triad City Beat last month, Cunningham
said that he would strengthen the Affordable Care Act if elected and would
invest in a clean energy economy to create good-paying jobs. He also had a
direct message for both Mitch McConnell and Thom Tillis during a February
candidate forum in Charlotte.

“We
are coming for you,” he said.

On
the Republican side, Tillis won his Senate seat handily, drawing in 78.1
percent of the vote against three challengers.

Tillis
was previously considered vulnerable to a Republican primary, but an
endorsement from President Trump last June appears to have made a difference.

“Trump
and Tillis butted heads,” said David Hill, a UAW member who works at
Freightliner in Rowan County. “Thom did some things I would consider not
conservative. I was dead-set against him at first. I ended up voting for him in
the primary because of Trump’s endorsement. I like the direction the
president’s going in.”

In
the 6th Congressional District Republican primary, Lee Haywood won
the primary against Laura Pichardo, with 73.25 percent of the vote.

Join the First Amendment Society, a membership that goes directly to funding TCB‘s newsroom.

We believe that reporting can save the world.

The TCB First Amendment Society recognizes the vital role of a free, unfettered press with a bundling of local experiences designed to build community, and unique engagements with our newsroom that will help you understand, and shape, local journalism’s critical role in uplifting the people in our cities.

All revenue goes directly into the newsroom as reporters’ salaries and freelance commissions.

🗲 Join The Society 🗲