WASHINGTON (5/20/10)--A pair of Credit Union National Association (CUNA)-backed congressional candidates moved forward to their respective general election contests after winning their individual primary contests on Tuesday. One of these candidates was Rand Paul, who will vie for Kentucky’s Senate seat later this year. Paul, who defeated Trey Grayson to become the Republican nominee, was backed by the Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC) and the Kentucky Credit Union League, and also touted the support of over 700,000 Kentucky credit union members on his website. CULAC and the Pennsylvania CU Association united behind candidate Mark Critz (D), who soundly beat special election opponent Tim Burns (R) by 9% of total votes. Critz, who will now assume the late John Murtha’s (D) congressional seat, was supported by CULAC, with Pennsylvania credit unions also chipping in to hold organized events for Critz. Critz will serve the remainder of Murtha’s term and will face Burns for a second time in this fall’s general election contest. Longtime credit union supporter Paul Kanjorski (D-Penn.) will again defend his seat this fall after winning his own primary contest with 49% of the vote. In the most highly-watched election on Tuesday, incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania lost the Democratic primary to Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.). While CULAC and the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association backed Sen. Specter as the incumbent, Rep. Sestak, a credit union supporter and CURIA cosponsor, had also received CULAC funding as a House candidate prior to challenging Sen. Specter. CULAC has also backed Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) throughout her Democratic primary campaign and will continue to support her as she moves toward a June 8 runoff election with Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter. "Credit unions had a big day Tuesday because they weren't afraid to get in early, roll up their sleeves, and help those candidates that are friendly to credit unions,” CUNA Vice President of Political Affairs Trey Hawkins said. ”As the election season progresses, we will continue working with leagues and credit unions to increase their involvement in key races," he added.