WASHINGTON (11/4/10)--Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney noted that despite the “losses of Democratic friends,” credit unions had a strong 2010 midterm election, with 26 Senate candidates and 302 House candidates backed by the Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC) winning their respective contests. Overall, as of Wednesday morning, 93% of candidates in called races who received CULAC support had won election, Cheney reported. He added that the successes can be attributed to "the strong, favorable image of credit unions, both among our own members and the voting public at large." "The election results, particularly in the races where we communicated directly with credit union members, bear that out and offer a road map not only for future efforts at the ballot box but for grassroots campaigns on credit union legislation as well,” Cheney said. A race involving Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) remained too close to call at press time, and House races involving 8 additional CULAC-backed candidates remained undecided as well. CUNA, CULAC, state credit union leagues and individual credit unions spent a combined $3.9 million on various candidates, and $1.1 million on direct communications with voters in 13 general and primary races, targeting 12 states. CUNA’s targeted independent expenditures (IE) helped Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) maintain his seat. Current Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) also won his Senate contest. In the House, CUNA-backed freshman Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) also won. CUNA, the leagues and credit unions also backed winning House candidates Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), Larry Kissell (D-N.C.), Kevin Yoder (R-Kansas) and Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) via partisan mailing campaigns. While the loss of longtime credit union champion Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Penn.) is “a difficult loss for credit unions,” that loss “also demonstrates why CUNA has worked so hard to develop new up-and-coming champions on both sides of the aisle,” Cheney said. Over one million pieces of direct mail were sent to voters on behalf of various candidates, and CUNA finished this election cycle as the most bipartisan spender among the top 50 group that made independent expenditures during the election.