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Redistricting in Ohio pits CU supporters against each other
COLUMBUS, Ohio (1/13/12)--Ohio will lose two House seats in the mandatory congressional redistricting, which means that some long-serving, credit union-friendly legislators will compete against each other in this year's elections, said the Ohio Credit Union League.

U.S. Reps. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo) and Dennis Kucinich (D-Cleveland) will compete for the 9th Congressional District seat. Kucinich could have run in the new 11th District in Cleveland, but he chose the 9th District, said the league (eLumination Newsletter Jan. 11). The new district includes a large portion of Toledo that likely would favor home-town candidate Kaptur in the race, the league added. Both are credit union friends. Kaptur recently co-sponsored HR 1418, legislation to expand credit unions' member business lending to 27.5% of assets from 12.25%.

Two other credit union friends will vie for the new 16th District seat. U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Wadsworth), a member of the House Financial Services Committee, actively supported the financial services industry's position on interchange, while U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Copley) is a long-time sponsor of MBL legislation, including the current HB 1418, and a public supporter of credit unions' tax status, the league said.

In the new 10th District, U.S. Rep. Steve Austria (R-Beavercreek), facing a tough primary, said he would not seek re-election. He would have run against U.S. Rep. Mike Turner (R-Dayton) in the primary. While they are not sponsors of pro-credit union legislation, Turner took the financial services industry's side in the interchange battle and has worked to build close relationships with area credit unions, said the league.

The redistricting means Ohio will have 16 House districts.

"The redistricting that is taking place in the U.S. Congress right now is going to present some difficult challenges, like the one in Ohio, for supporters of credit union-friendly candidates this year. That's the bad news," Trey Hawkins, vice president of political affairs at the Credit Union National Association, told News Now.

"The good news is that in a race in which two credit union-friendly candidates are competing, credit unions--and their members--are the real winners, no matter what the outcome," Hawkins concluded.


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