WASHINGTON (5/7/14)--A trio of credit union-supported candidates fared well in Tuesday's Republican primary elections in North Carolina.
U.S. House incumbent Walter Jones and House candidate David Rouzer won their respective party primaries in the 3rd and 7th Congressional District elections. The 6th District candidate, Phil Berger, Jr., appeared headed to a July 15 primary runoff with Mark Walker as of late Tuesday evening.
The candidates needed more than 40% of the total primary vote in their district in order to secure the party nomination without a runoff; with 58% of precincts reporting, Berger was leading a nine-candidate field with 36.7% of the reported vote.
The Credit Union National Association and the Carolinas Credit Union League (CCUL) took active roles in these elections. CCUL Senior Vice President of Association Services Dan Schline noted that the 3rd, 6th and 7th districts are all heavily Republican, so these primary winners are likely to move on to Washington following their November contests.
"We're proud to support candidates who are actively working on behalf of credit unions and understand what they have to offer their constituents," said Trey Hawkins, CUNA's vice president of political affairs (News Now May 6).
Jones was the first North Carolina sponsor of the Promoting Lending to America's Small Business Act of 2009, which aimed to raise the credit union member business lending cap. He has also strongly supported Jacksonville's Marine FCU. Berger Jr. has strong connections to credit unions in his district, and Rouzer supported that state's credit unions during his time in the N.C. House.
CULAC, CUNA's PAC, starts 2014 on solid footing, with more than $922,000 in cash available. All three of the North Carolina candidates received the maximum CULAC campaign contribution of $5,000. According to opensecrets.org, CULAC remains one of the top 20 PACs in terms of contributions to candidates, and one of the most bi-partisan. During 2013-14, donations were split 50-50 between Democratic and Republican candidates.