He is running for the U.S. Senate in North Carolina against GOP incumbent Thom Tillis. In order to get there, he has to win a Democratic primary in which the field has not yet solidified.
The Senate is where much of the action will be at in 2020. If one of the Democratic presidential hopefuls conquers the primary and wins the general election without also winning in the Senate, it will be next to impossible to turn Democratic plans into governance. These men are looking at tough races but it is a sign of Democratic strength that such articulate and smart candidates are willing to jump into the fray.