WASHINGTON (8/9/12)--Tuesday's primaries in Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington provided more good news for credit union allies on Capitol Hill and state legislatures.
In Kansas' 33rd Senate district, state Rep. Mitch Holmes defeated state Sen. Ruth Teichman in the GOP primary. Teichman had been a vocal credit union opponent who led an effort several years ago to restrict the fields of membership of state-chartered credit unions in the Sunflower State.
The Kansas Credit Union League and local credit unions worked actively on behalf of Holmes, a credit union member and supporter, including providing volunteer support, fundraising, and sending endorsement letters to their membership.
In Missouri, Rep. Todd Akin, who had the backing of the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC), was an upset victor in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. Akin has co-sponsored legislation to raise the cap on credit union member business lending (MBL).
Akin won with 36% of the vote. In November, he will challenge incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill, whom CULAC supported in her Democratic primary.
Because of redistricting, two credit union friends faced off in the Democratic primary in the 1st congressional district. Rep. Lacy Clay defeated Rep. Russ Carnahan (D) 62%-35%.
Clay is a member of the House Financial Services Committee and a co-sponsor of legislation to raise the cap on MBLs and supports allowing credit unions to access supplemental capital.
Carnahan is also a co-sponsor of the MBL legislation and supports access to supplemental capital.
CULAC contributed to both candidates this cycle, prior to their being redistricted together.
In Michigan's 14th congressional district, Rep. Gary Peters defeated Rep. Hansen Clarke 47%-35% in a Democratic primary caused by both of these credit union-supporting candidates being placed together in the same district because of redistricting.
Peters is a member of the Financial Services Committee and backed credit union- friendly legislation such as raising the caps on MBLs and delaying the implementation of interchange regulations. Clarke held similar positions.
As with the Clay-Carnahan race in Missouri, CULAC contributed to both candidates prior to their being redistricted together.
In Washington's 1st congressional district, the CULAC-backed favorite candidate Steve Hobbs (D) failed to make the cut in a crowded field in the primary. The general election will feature a race between John Koster (R) and Suzan Del Bene (D). The vacancy was created by the resignation of Rep. Jay Inslee (D), the Democratic nominee for governor.
CUNA Vice President of Political Affairs Trey Hawkins commended the credit union efforts in in Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington saying, "Credit unions win politically when they become actively involved like this."
He added that CULAC "will continue to be in the game on behalf of credit union-friendly candidates, and will aggressively support credit union friends in this year's elections."