WASHINGTON (8/1/12)--"Whether their candidate wins or loses an election, credit unions win politically when they become actively involved--like Texas credit unions just did--trying to get credit union-friendly candidates elected," Richard Gose, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Senior Vice President of Political Affairs said Tuesday night.
He congratulated Texas credit unions and the Texas Credit Union League (TCUL) for its energetic Get-Out-the-Vote effort in advance of the Texas Republican Senate runoff contest between Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and former State Solicitor General Ted Cruz, and the effort didn't let up until yesterday's vote.
Dewhurst was endorsed by the TCUL, and the TCUL and credit unions distributed pro-Dewhurst postcards to registered Republican voters across the state in recent weeks. More than 52,000 credit union member households received multiple mailers from the league in what was credit unions' first partisan communication for a Senate candidate.
Late Tuesday night, AP called the race in favor of Cruz.
Gose said of the results, "The results do nothing to detract from the importance of the Texas effort. You can only win when you try."
Dewhurst supported key credit union issues, including increasing the member business lending cap, during his campaign, and the TCUL's Winter Prosapio said Dewhurst, overall, understands the credit union difference.
"He has been there for credit unions as lieutenant governor, and has a track record of being with the League on many critical credit union issues," she added.
Dewhurst in a TCUL video noted that credit unions have continued lending and working with their members in a difficult economy.
CUNA Vice President of Political Affairs Trey Hawkins commended the league and Texas credit unions for their efforts. CUNA's Credit Union Legislative Action Council--known as CULAC—also supported Dewhurst in his initial primary contest and this recent runoff.
Dewhurst and Cruz were pitted against each other in a runoff election after Dewhurst in May failed to win the 50% of votes needed to secure the Republican Senate nomination. Dewhurst received 45% of the primary vote, while Cruz tallied 34% of all votes cast in the primary.
The results of the runoff are expected to be official today. The winner will run against a Democratic challenger for the Senate seat of the retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) this fall.
Texas has not had a Democratic senator in office since 1993.
Texas State Rep. Marc Veasey (D) also received support from CULAC in his in the Democratic nomination bid. Veasey faced former State Rep. Domingo Garcia (D) in a runoff election in the newly created 33rd district of Texas. Veasy, defeated his Democratic runoff opponent 53% - 47%. He is favored in the Democratic seat for November.
Hawkins said 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."
The presidency, congressional seats, and state and local positions are all at stake in 2012.