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Cal Cunningham, the Democrat running to unseat incumbent GOP Sen. Thom Tillis in North Carolina, acknowledged Friday that he sent intimate text messages to a woman who isn’t his wife, according to the Raleigh-based News & Observer.

Why it matters: Tillis and Cunningham's race is a key competition for Democrats as they try to win control of the Senate, though Cunningham has said he won’t drop out.

What they're saying: Cunningham apologized in a Friday night statement released by his campaign.

  • “I have hurt my family, disappointed my friends, and am deeply sorry,” Cunningham said in the statement, according to the Washington Post. “The first step in repairing those relationships is taking complete responsibility, which I do. I ask that my family’s privacy be respected in this personal matter.”
  • Cunningham said he has no plans of dropping out of the race.
  • “I remain grateful and humbled by the ongoing support that North Carolinians have extended in this campaign, and in the remaining weeks before this election I will continue to work to earn the opportunity to fight for the people of our state,” he said.

The big picture: Tillis, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Friday he tested positive for coronavirus. The two candidates debated in-person in Raleigh on Thursday night.

Go deeper

Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan wins re-election in Alaska

Sen. Dan Sullivan. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK.) on Wednesday won re-election against Al Gross, an independent running as a Democrat, AP reports.

Why it matters: With the Alaska race results in, Republicans now have a 49-48 hold on the Senate. Neither party can claim the majority until the January runoff elections in Georgia.

Updated 4 mins ago - Health

This arthritis drug cost $198 in 2008. Now it's more than $10,000

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In 2008, a box of 30 anti-inflammatory rectal suppositories that treats arthritis, called Indocin, had a price tag of $198. As of Oct. 1, the price of that same box was 52 times higher, totaling $10,350.

Why it matters: As federal lawmakers continue to waver on drug price reforms, Indocin is another example of how nothing prevents drug companies from hiking prices at will and selling them within a broken supply chain.

Fintech's record year

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Massive venture rounds into fintech companies have ballooned this year, pushing up total dollars invested — in just the first three quarters of 2021 — to nearly double the amount in all of 2020, per new PitchBook data.

Why it matters: The maturing of fintech startups means a growing number of companies are able to raise huge later-stage funding rounds as investors look to lock-in their bets.