WASHINGTON (3/8/12)--Looking past the Super Tuesday presidential primaries, credit unions will find there were other interesting results in the Ohio congressional primaries.
Of note to credit unions:
- Rep. Jean Schmidt (R) lost her primary race to Brad Wenstrup, an Iraq War veteran and surgeon. Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Vice President of Political Affairs Trey Hawkins said Wednesday Schmidt had been largely neutral with regard to credit union issues, neither hostile nor strongly supportive, and CUNA and the Ohio league were not involved in the primary. However, Hawkins added, CUNA and the league will be working to build a positive relationship with the ultimate victor in Ohio's second district.
- In Ohio's third district, former Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D) very narrowly lost the Democratic primary in a new heavily Democratic Columbus seat to state legislator Joyce Beatty. CUNA was not involved in the primary, but successfully supported Kilroy's opponent, now-Rep. Steve Stivers (R), in 2010. Kilroy, a former member of the House Financial Services Committee, was on the conference committee for the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and was a vocal proponent of the Durbin Amendment that imposed limits on debit card interchange fees.
- In an unusual primary that pitted one incumbent House member against another and, coincidentally, one credit union ally against another because of congressional redistricting, Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio's ninth district won in a 60%-36% landslide against Rep. Dennis Kucinich, formerly of the tenth district.
Kaptur has co-sponsored the CUNA-backed member business lending (MBL) bill both is this session of Congress and the last.
She supported credit unions in the contentious Dodd-Frank interchange debate--and signed the "dear colleague" letter on this issue circulated by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) in 2010.
Kaptur also signed on as co-sponsor of the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (CURIA) each of the three times it was introduced in Congress. CUNA and the league supported Kaptur in the primary.
Hawkins said that, ultimately, Kaptur has been a good friend to credit unions and she understands credit unions' challenges. "CUNA looks forward to the opportunity to continue working with her."