WASHINGTON (12/18/14)--Martha McSally has defeated credit union-supported Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.) in the battle to represent Arizona's 2nd Congressional District. The Associated Press called the race Wednesday afternoon, ending the final outstanding congressional race from the Nov. 4 election.
McSally won by 167 votes of roughly 220,000 cast. The race was the closest in Arizona history, triggering the state's automatic recount since the race was within a 0.1% margin. The recount added six votes to McSally's tally.
Despite Barber's defeat, the Credit Union National Association had a successful election season with 375 of the 396 CUNA-supported candidates declaring victory--a 95% success rate. This led CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle to declare a "credit union-friendly majority" has been elected to Congress.
CUNA and the Credit Union Legislative Action Council spent roughly $6 million this election season, including more than $3 million in direct contributions.
CUNA's staff and state leagues have been meeting with members of the upcoming 114th Congress, particularly freshman legislators.
|Jennifer Martin, director of governmental affairs, League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU), left; Andy Gonzalez, LSCU grassroots and political action coordinator; Lisa Brown, president/CEO, Tallahassee-Leon FCU; David Southall, president/CEO, Innovations FCU; U.S. Rep.-elect Gwen Graham (D-Fla.); Jim Warren, president/CEO, Tyndall FCU; Jared Ross, LSCU senior vice president of association services; and Jordan Burroughs, LSCU governmental affairs specialist. (League of Southeastern Credit Unions Photo)|
For example, the League of Southeastern Credit Unions hosted a lunch with one such legislator--Rep.-elect Gwen Graham (D-Fla.)--Tuesday. According to the league, the lunch was a way for credit unions to get to know Graham and speak about the major issues facing credit unions.
This includes the credit union tax status, member business lending and data security, as well as ways credit unions save their members money.
"I look for opportunities to work together on the issues. I care about who has good ideas and what is best for Florida," Graham told the league (eSignal Daily Dec. 17).
The league also reported that Graham heard about a lack of access to capital for small businesses during a jobs tour last week, and was interested in learning more about Rep. Jeff Miller's (R-Fla.) bill to allow credit unions to offer veterans member business loans that do not count against the cap.
"We're all working together as a team to benefit the people of the district. lawmakers, businesses and the people of the district," she said.