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CU-backed candidates fare well in primaries
WASHINGTON (8/12/10)--Credit union-backed candidates came out victorious in some of this week’s primaries in Georgia, Colorado, and Connecticut. Supported by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), Georgia Credit Union Affiliates, and Gwinnett FCU in the GOP primary runoff for a shot at retiring Rep. John Linder’s (R) seat, Linder's chief of staff Rob Woodall, defeated conservative talk show host Jody Hice 56% to 44%. CUNA, the Georgia League, and the Lawrenceville. Ga.-based Gwinnett Federal conducted a partisan communications campaign on Woodall's behalf, mailing 8,500 credit union members of Gwinnett Federal two mailers in support of Woodall. In addition to CUNA’s Credit Union Legislative Action Council’s (CULAC's) $10,000 in direct donations to Woodall in the primary and runoff, CULAC also financially supported the Georgia league's mailings with a $2500 donation. “The district is heavily Republican, so Woodall should easily win the general election and is likely to prove a strong credit union supporter,” said Trey Hawkins, CUNA vice president of political affairs, after the primary. He also noted that CULAC was one of only two federal political action committees--or PACs--to back Woodall in his primary against the favored candidate in that race. In Colorado, the credit union-favored candidate in the Democratic primary for a U.S. Senate seat was Michael Bennet (D), who defeated his primary challenger Andrew Romanoff 52% to 46%. Bennet, who is a strong credit union supporter and a backer of the legislative effort to increase the credit union member business lending cap, will face Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck in a highly competitive race in November. Credit union support in Connecticut helped secure a successful bid by state attorney general Richard Blumenthal, who won the Democratic nomination to replace retiring Sen. Chris Dodd (D). Currently, Blumenthal is expected to prevail over the Republican nominee, former WWE CEO Linda McMahon, although her public commitment to spend $50 million in personal funds has the potential to make the race competitive. Also of note in this month’s primary votes, long-time credit union supporter Rep. Roy Blunt (R), of Missouri, beat eight Republican challengers to face the state’s Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) for a seat vacated by retiring Sen. Kit Bond (R). And in Tennessee's primary, credit union-backed incumbent Rep. Steve Cohen (D), a co-sponsor of MBL legislation, staved off a strong challenge from former the Memphis mayor, Willie Herenton (D). The Missouri Credit Union Association announced it is mailing Democrat and Republican primary winners a candidate’s with questions focusing on credit union concerns. The league said the candidates responses will be published in the autumn edition of Missouri Courier.


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