TV stations pull attack ad in North Carolina Senate race

August 1, 2020 GMT

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina television stations have pulled a Republican attack ad against Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cal Cunningham off the air after his campaign said the ad wasn’t truthful.

The Charlotte Observer reports the National Republican Senatorial Committee paid for the ad. It ties Cunningham to a Paycheck Protection Program loan obtained by his former employer, WasteZero.

Cunningham is running against Republican Sen. Thom Tillis.

WRAL and WRAZ, both owned by Capitol Broadcasting Company in Raleigh, have taken the ad off the air. WSOC in Charlotte also has taken it off the air, according to emails from the station.


The Cunningham campaign said the ad was “blatantly false” in a July 30 letter.

NRSC spokesperson Joanna Rodriguez said Cunningham has been “hypocritically criticizing” the program “while the company where he spent seven years as an executive used a PPP loan to stay afloat.” She said the group stands behind the ad.

The Cunningham campaign says that WasteZero is not Cunningham’s company, and he didn’t receive any PPP funding. The campaign says Cunningham is not a founder of WasteZero, and he does not hold any kind of ownership interest in the company.

The Raleigh-based waste reduction company received a PPP loan of between $1 and $2 million.