WASHINGTON (6/5/14)--Of 11 closely watched credit union-backed candidates who ran in Tuesday's primaries in eight states, eight emerged victorious and will move on to November, two will face a runoff election in the coming months and one race stands too close to call.
In California, Democrat Pete Aguilar, the former vice president of Arrowhead CU, with $773 million in assets, is neck and neck with Republican Lesli Gooch for the second spot in November's election for the 31st Congressional District seat. In California, the top two vote getters in a primary move on to November, and Republican Paul Chabot has locked in the first slot.
Aguilar currently holds 17.4% of the vote, ahead of Gooch's 16.5%, a lead of 390 votes. Aguilar had not been declared the second-place finisher as of Wednesday, with provisional ballots still to be counted. Aguilar was the recipient of almost $198,000 in independent expenditures by the Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC).
In Mississippi, incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran (R), who received support from CULAC and the Mississippi Credit Union Association, trails by less than 1% with 99% of precincts reporting. Cochran garnered 48.9% of the vote, while his opponent state Sen. Chris McDaniel getting 49.6%. A primary runoff is scheduled for June 24.
In Alabama, state Rep. Paul DeMarco (R) was the top vote-getter with 33% of the vote and will face off against Gary Palmer (who received 20% of the vote) in a July 15 runoff election. DeMarco was the recipient of more than 54,000 partisan communication mailers to credit union member households, and CULAC and the League of Southeastern Credit Unions are working on more support for the runoff.
In Iowa, state Rep. Pat Murphy (D) was able to avoid a party convention to decide the nominee by collecting 36.7% of the vote and will move on to November's general election. Murphy, a former state House speaker, has been a noted champion for credit union causes dating back to the early 2000s. Murphy is endorsed by the Iowa State Credit Union League and supported by CULAC.
Other credit union-backed candidates that won easily in Tuesday's primaries: