Election ’22: Credit Union Wins, Losses and Undecided Races
The midterm elections' impact on credit unions was not immediately clear as candidates supported by CUNA and an anti-CU super PAC both fared well.
Candidates supported by CUNA fared well in the midterms, but so did those endorsed by an anti-credit union super PAC.
Anyone looking for true clarity from the House and Senate elections on Tuesday most likely was temporarily disappointed.
“It’s almost clear as mud,” Jason Stverak, CUNA’s deputy chief advocacy officer, said, in a phone call with journalists Wednesday morning.
It appeared on Wednesday that the Republicans were likely to gain control of the House. However, control of the Senate might be so close that it may not be decided until a Dec. 6 runoff in the Georgia contest between Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker. Under Georgia law, if no Senate candidate receives at least 50% of the vote, a runoff between the two leading candidates is held.
Even amid that uncertainty, however, some things are clear. For instance, candidates backed by either CUNA or Friends of Traditional Banking, an anti-credit union super PAC, did well on Tuesday.
Here’s a breakdown of how these candidates fared:
House Candidates Supported by CUNA
In the races that CUNA placed a high priority on, five candidates won, one candidate lost and two were in races that were too tight to call. CUNA independently spent money on advertising on behalf of those candidates.
The victorious candidates were:
–Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb.
–Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Ga.
–Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa
–Rep. Annie Kuster, D-N.H.
–Rep. Chris Pappas, D-N.H.
Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., lost her bid for reelection to Republican Jen Kiggans. CUNA had spent money on advertising on behalf of Luria, a member of the Jan. 6 committee investigating the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
At last report, Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., was locked in a tight battle with Democrat Rudy Salas. Valadao also received support from CUNA.
House Candidate Supported by Friends of Traditional Banking
A super PAC that encouraged bankers to contribute to its endorsed candidates, Friends of Traditional Banking supported the successful reelection effort of Rep. Randy Feenstra, Iowa.
While Feenstra is a relatively obscure freshman member of Congress, the super PAC cited Feenstra’s effort to pass a credit union tax bill when he was chairman of the state Senate’s Ways and Means Committee.
Feenstra has said that he would like an appointment to the House Ways and Means Committee. And while he has not publicly discussed proposing a tax bill in Congress, bankers are hoping he will make that effort.
With the retirement of Senate Banking Committee ranking Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina is likely to become the GOP leader on the panel. It remains unclear whether Scott will become chairman of the committee or ranking Republican with control of the Senate up in the air.
Scott defeated Democratic state Rep. Krystle Matthews on Tuesday.
Senate Candidate Supported by CUNA
CUNA made independent expenditures on advertising on behalf of Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev. Masto is locked in a close contest with Republican Adam Laxalt. Laxalt held a small lead in the race, which also could help decide partisan control of the Senate.
Senate Candidates Supported by Friends of Traditional Banking
The banking super PAC supported two Senate candidates, both of whom won on Tuesday. Rep. Ted Budd, R-N.C., a member of the House Financial Services Committee, was elected to the Senate seat that became open with the retirement of Republican Rep. Richard Burr.
The group also endorsed Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., who was narrowly reelected, defeating Democratic Lieutenant Gov. Mandela Barnes.