|Cal Cunningham with his family|
Current Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, as every politico with a pulse already knows, plans to run for governor against Roy Cooper in 2020, so his office will be open for scrambling politicians everywhere.
Democrat Cal Cunningham first came to our attention in 2010, when he ran in the Democratic primary for US Senate against Sec. of State Elaine Marshall. Marshall won that primary and went on to lose to Dick Burr that November. Even though Cunningham lost the primary, he impressed many Democrats as a rising star who had a bright future.
Cunningham had been elected to the NC Senate (23rd District) in 2000, representing parts of Davidson, Rowan and Iredell counties. Redistricting that followed the 2000 Census broke up the 23rd into three new Republican-leaning districts, and Cunningham opted not to run again in 2002 (Wikipedia).
Cunningham is a lawyer (UNC-Chapel Hill) who was commissioned in the Army Reserve, Judge Advocate General's Corps, in 2002 and has been mobilized for two active duty tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. In the Reserve, he serves with an airborne unit at Fort Bragg. He has his own law firm in Lexington, NC, and is also vice president and general counsel for WasteZero, a recycling management business that has teamed up "with more than 800 towns and cities to reduce waste, increase recycling, and generate savings for municipalities."
I discover that Cunningham already has an ActBlue donation page up and active.
Mount Airy Republican (and former mayor) Deborah Cochran is the only announced Republican so far for the Lt. Gov. seat. She announced, in fact, way back in May of this year. She's well known in Surry County because of a decades-long career as a local radio personality (WSYD-AM). She's also a business teacher at John F. Kennedy High School in Forsyth County. And she's bound to be challenged in the Republican primary in 2020 by better-known personalities.
Footnote: Filing for the 2020 General Elections will actually open on December 2, 2019, barely a year away. And you thought I was seriously jumping the gun to talk about the 2020 campaign?