After Arrington Accident, Cunningham is Back on the Campaign Trail

July 11, 2018, 11:54 am EST | Share:

CHARLESTON, SC (ANNE EMERSON, WTAT0-TV) — He says former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley is someone he looks up to, and there are some similarities between the former mayor and first congressional district candidate Joe Cunningham.

He’s a young democrat testing the political waters.

The question is: Can he weather the conservative tidal wave that’s riding on President Trump?

“I see what is going on in Washington, D.C., and I see the nasty rhetoric our country is absorbing, and I’m just not going to stand for it,” says Cunningham.

But that wasn’t always his plan for Cunningham, who grew up on the water.

“I’ve always been on or near the water, I actually met my wife while working as a deckhand on a boat and she was a stewardess.”

Now, he’s a lawyer and new dad to 5-month-old Boone. The plan has changed.

“I think the most a father could ask for is for his son to be proud of him, that his dad stood up in a tough time, in a tough district and stood up for what was right and for his interest,” says Cunningham.

He suspended his campaign after his opponent, Republican candidate Katie Arrington was injured in a fatal car crash.

But now, he says, “We are putting it all on the line, putting everything out there, we are going to fight every single day until November hits. We are going to be out there talking to voters,” says Cunningham.

His concerns in D.C. stem from his own experience. From starting a family, “The fact of the matter is we are just like everyone else cut from the fabric of the middle class, still paying off student loans,” says Cunningham.

To working on the water, “We are running against a person who said they supported Trump’s decision to lift the ban on offshore drilling, and we’ve come out in staunch opposition to offshore drilling,” he said.

To the traffic woes, he says protecting our oceans and fixing our roads cross party lines.

“This is not a partisan issue either, when you are stuck in traffic, there isn’t a lane for Democrats or Republicans, we are all in this together.”

At least that’s what he is hoping for.

“People say, ‘Cute, you brought your kid to the event. Well mom is at work and daycare is expensive do you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do, the campaign doesn’t stop, life doesn’t stop, isn’t that right?’”

In fact, while we were at Cunningham’s, he was a full-time dad, with mom still at work.

In addition to their other businesses, the couple owns a yoga studio together in West Ashley.