Elizabeth Kolb is North Carolina Democratic Senate candidate Cal Cunningham’s wife. The couple, who have two teenage children together, Caroline and Will, were married in 2000.
In October 2020, Cunningham, 47, admitted to sexting a woman named Arlene Guzman Todd, 36.
Cunningham met his wife in the fall of 1997, the former state senator says on his official campaign website. The couple met while working on the Senate primary campaign of Democrat D.G. Martin, Kolb told The Davidson County Dispatch in 2001.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Cunningham Says in His Campaign Literature That He Is ‘Proud’ of His Wife’s Policy Work
Kolb, 49, is a practicing lawyer who graduated from Wake Forest University School of Law in December 1996, according to her now-deleted LinkedIn page. Kolb attained her bachelor’s in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in December 1993. Later, Kolb received a teaching qualification from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in December 2001. During her time at the school, Kolb was a member of the Kappa Delta sorority.
Kolb worked as a policy analyst for the North Carolina State Board of Education between 2011 and 2012. Later, Kolb was a director at the North Carolina New Teacher Support Program at the University of North Carolina. On Cunningham’s official campaign website, the candidate writes that he is “proud of the policy work” done by Kolb “to advance high-quality public education in North Carolina.” Cunningham notes that the couple’s two children were educated in North Carolina’s public school system. Kolb told The Davidson County Dispatch in 2001, “I’ve always wanted to do things with children. That’s always been my priority.”
2. Cunningham Said in September 2020 That Long-Distance Running With Kolb Was His Favorite Hobby
According to Kolb’s Facebook page, she graduated from Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh, North Carolina. Kolb served as student body president, was on the tennis team and was active in the Students Against Drunk Driving campaign, she told The Davidson County Dispatch. In the same interview, Kolb said that she grew up in Raleigh where her father, Jack, had a business selling automatic welding machines, and her mother, Ann, was a General Electric employee who was active in her local church. Kolb has two siblings.
On her Facebook profile, Kolb lists Raleigh as her hometown. Cunningham told Fox8 in a September 2020 interview that he and his wife decided to raise their children in Lexington, North Carolina, following his graduation from the University of North Carolina’s law school. When Cunningham entered politics, the family moved to Raleigh. During that interview, Cunningham said that one of his hobbies is long-distance running with Kolb. He added that the couple has competed in marathon races together in the past.
3. Kolb Actively Campaigns With Her Husband
In February 2012, Kolb appeared with her husband in a video voicing their opposition to an anti-gay marriage amendment in North Carolina. In the video, Cunningham said, “It’s okay to wrestle in your heart and with your faith about marriage and civil unions and partnerships. But writing discrimination into our state Constitution is plain wrong.”
During Cunningham’s run for the Democratic senate nomination in North Carolina in 2010, Kolb actively campaigned for her husband. In an email to supporters, Kolb wrote in part, “Simply put, Cal’s in this race to take your voice to Washington and to stand up for your values.”
4. Cunningham Regularly Pays Tribute to His Wife on Twitter
Cunningham regularly pays tribute to his wife on Twitter. On May 8, which is Military Spouse Appreciation Day, Cunningham tweeted, “Elizabeth, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — you should have a rack of medals for your contributions to our country. I am so grateful for you.”
Cunningham is an active lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army. Cunningham has been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan and was awarded a Bronze Star medal.
5. Cunningham Was Sexting Arlene Guzman Todd 2 Months After His 20th Wedding Anniversary
On May 13, 2020, the couple’s 20th wedding anniversary, Cunningham wrote, “I’m grateful to be on this journey with my best friend, who warms me with her smile, keeps me on my toes with her wit, and awes me with her determination to make the world a better place.” In a subsequent message, Cunningham said that he was “especially grateful” for Kolb’s “patience and grace, as I do my best to balance the demands of the campaign with our family.”
In the sext messages that were leaked to NationalFile.com, Cunningham told Todd that he was “nervous about the next 100 days.” Election day is November 3, meaning that 100 days before that day was July 26.