WASHINGTON (5/6/14)--The Credit Union National Association and the Carolinas Credit Union League (CCUL) are taking an active role in today's Republican primary elections in North Carolina, throwing support behind candidates in the 3rd, 6th and 7th Congressional Districts.
Dan Schline, senior vice president of association services for CCUL, said that these seats are all in heavily Republican districts, so the winner of the primary is likely to win the seat in November's election.
Incumbent Walter Jones, a Republican who co-sponsored the Promoting Lending to America's Small Business Act of 2009, is one such candidate facing a challenger in Tuesday's primary. Jones became was the first North Carolina sponsor of the bill, which aimed to raise the credit union member business lending cap. He represents the state's 3rd District, which includes the areas around the Outer Banks and the Pamlico Sound.
"Walter has been a huge supporter of credit unions in the district while in office, especially with Marine FCU in Jacksonville," Schline said.
The 6th and 7th Districts feature open seats, and the Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC) and the state league have thrown their support behind a candidate in each race.
In the 6th District, which includes portions of Greensboro and Durham, Phil Berger Jr. will face eight challengers for a chance at his party's nomination to the seat currently held by Republican Howard Coble. Coble announced last November that he would retire at the end of his current term.
"Phil has a lot of connections to credit unions in the sixth district, and he has expressed a real appreciation for the services they offer," Schline said.
Politico called Tuesday's primary "the real battle in 2014," when it comes to the heavily Republican 6th District, as whoever wins the Republican primary is favored to take the vacant seat.
In the 7th District, which includes Wilmington and the southern suburbs of Raleigh, former state senator David Rouzer is being supported by CULAC and the league. He faces challenges from two others for the seat held by Republican Rep. Mike McIntyre, who has announced he will not seek re-election.
"David Rouzer was very supportive of credit unions during his time in the state legislature," Schline said.
In a straw poll conducted April 26 at the district convention, Rouzer took 59.8% of the votes.
"We're proud to support candidates who are actively working on behalf of credit unions and understand what they have to offer," said Trey Hawkins, CUNA's vice president of political affairs.
In each primary, the winning candidate must receive at least 40% of the vote. If that number is not reached, a runoff election between the top two candidates will take place July 15.
CULAC has donated the maximum legal amount, $5,000, to each of the three candidates' campaigns. According opensecrets.org, CULAC is one of the top 20 PACs in terms of contributions to candidates, and during 2013-14, donations were split 50-50 among Democratic and Republican candidates.
Use the resource links to access the Politico article, the OpenSecrets website, and the straw poll results.