Go to:

February 2019
< Jan Mar >
Leaguer Email Subscription

You are not currently subscribed. Click Subscribe below to receive the Leaguer email.

CUNA Midterm Election Update: How CU Friendly Candidates Fared
Thursday, November 6, 2014 6:35 AM

CU Supporters

Ten of 15 candidates for Congress with whom CUNA was directly involved won their races, but among the five losses were several strong supporters of credit unions, such as Colorado Sen. Mark Udall. CUNA and credit unions sent more than 2.1-million pieces of direct mail to 400,000 registered voters who are also credit union members in support of Udall.

CUNA’s new CEO, Jim Nussle, a former member of Congress from Iowa, called the swing to the GOP a “credit union friendly majority.”

As of mid-morning yesterday, the Republicans gained seven seats in the Senate, with two to three other races still too close to call. In Louisiana, a run-off will take place in December to elect its senator. In the House, Republicans have seen at least a 13-seat gain, with 19 races still too close to call and one in a runoff.

CUNA’s VP political affairs, Trey Hawkins, CUNA, state leagues, and individual credit unions were involved in 396 overall races, including 357 for the House. Of the latter, CU-backed candidates won seats in 336 of those. In the Senate, CUNA’s Credit Union Legislative Action Committee (CULAC) provided support to 29 of the 36 candidates who were on the ballot, 25 of whom won their races (with two races still undecided).

In terms of the 15 races in which CUNA provided independent expenditures and/or partisan communications, CUNA SVP Political Affairs Richard Gose explained, “When we make determinations to get involved, we look to support those who have been there for credit unions. It’s not for the faint of heart.”

In addition to Udall’s defeat, CU-supporter Bruce Braley also lost his bid to join the Senate. Credit unions won a victory when Mitch McConnell won his seat; CULAC had made a direct expenditure of $300,000 on behalf of McConnell (R-KY), the likely Senate Majority Leader when Congress convenes in January. California Democrat Pete Aguilar, a former CU employee, has claimed victory in his race. Republican Mike Rounds, whom CUNA provided late support for in his bid to represent South Dakota in the Senate, also won.

In all, CUNA spent more than $5.6 million during the most recent election cycle. Additional coverage can be found here. How CULAC-backed candidates did in the 2014 midterms can be seen in the accompanying chart.

CUNA has already begun the process of congratulating those they supported who were victorious. For those Members-elect who won over candidates we supported, CUNA is likewise reaching out to congratulate them, to begin building a relationship, and to pledge to work with them in the next Congress.

Further, CUNA is currently planning a comprehensive effort, in coordination with state leagues, to get to know those who were elected anew to the next Congress—incoming freshman senators and representatives—and to introduce them to credit union issues and concerns.

Nussle said, "Now the work turns to the issues facing Congress, including much-needed regulatory relief and preserving the credit union tax exemption, as they wrap up work this year and prepare for next year's session."