CU-friendly candidates see wins in Md., Pa. primaries

April 27, 2016

A number of credit union-friendly candidates succeeded in Tuesday’s primary elections in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Both state leagues and the Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC) supported candidates in the primaries.

The Maryland Senate primary saw a credit union-friendly candidate win, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D). Van Hollen defeated Rep. Donna Edwards (D) in the Democratic primary. Van Hollen will now move to November’s election to fill the seat left open by the retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D).

Van Hollen has been a staunch supporter of the credit union tax status, and has recently spoken in favor of CUNA’s data security positions, as well as in support of moving away from a one-size-fits-all regulatory approach.

Other credit union-friendly candidates that won Tuesday include:

  • Maryland 8th Congressional District:  State Sen. Jamie Raskin (D) won the Democratic primary in the heavily Democratic 8th District, currently held by Van Hollen.  Raskin has been a strong credit union supporter in Annapolis and was supported by CULAC and the Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association;
  • Pennsylvania 8th Congressional District: Former FBI agent Brian Fitzpatrick (R), supported by CULAC and the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association, won the primary to succeed his brother, Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, who is retiring. Brian Fitzpatrick will face state Democratic primary winner Rep. Steve Santarsiero (D) in November; and
  • Pennsylvania 16th Congressional District: Credit union supporter state Sen. Lloyd Smucker (R) won the Republican primary, and will campaign to fill the seat of retiring Rep. Joe Pitts (R).

CULAC, CUNA’s political action committee (PAC), is one of the largest and most bipartisan PACs in the country. It was named the top trade association PAC in direct giving last year by the Center for Responsive Politics, and also was top-rated in terms of bipartisan giving by APCO Worldwide.

Leading up to each election season, CULAC works closely with state leagues to determine which candidates to support.