WASHINGTON (3/13/12)--House Financial Services Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) is facing a tough Republican primary fight ahead of this fall's general election, and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has stepped in to help the chairman ahead of today's primary vote.
CUNA is supporting the chairman with rush-hour radio ads in Alabama's sixth congressional district, which includes Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and a portion of the state capitol, Montgomery.
The radio ads, an independent expenditure financed by the Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC), CUNA's federal political action committee, began on Sunday and will run through the close of polls on Tuesday. Independent expenditures are campaign communications directed at voters that are conducted independently of the candidate or candidate's campaign they are intended to support.
"CUNA is backing Chairman Bachus in this early contest, and we will continue to support other friends of credit unions ahead of this fall's races," Richard Gose, CUNA's senior vice president of political affairs, said.
Bachus's main challenger is state Sen. Scott Beason (R). Two others, David Standridge and Al Mickle, are also challenging for the congressional seat. To win, a candidate must secure more than 50% of the primary vote. If no candidate does so, the two highest vote getters will face one another in a runoff.
Bachus, who joined the House of Representatives in 1993 and has led the Financial Services Committee since early 2011, has called credit unions "an integral part of our financial system" and has praised credit unions for their pro-consumer work and their straightforward credit practices.
He also has fought against predatory lending practices, and authored legislation that lifted the federal deposit insurance level for credit unions and banks to $250,000.
Overall, CUNA plans to spend more than $3 million on 2012 congressional races.