94 CUNA-supported candidates succeed in Super Tuesday primaries

March 4, 2020

Super Tuesday’s primary election saw multiple credit union-supported Congressional candidates progress to the general election as their party’s nominee for the Nov. 3 general election. States holding primary contests Tuesday included Alabama, Arkansas, California, North Carolina and Texas.

The Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC), CUNA’s political action committee, CUNA and its League partners supported a combined 96 candidates for the U.S. House and Senate on the ballot in those states.

Among closely watched races involving incumbents, CULAC and the Cornerstone Credit Union League (CCUL) supported veteran Republican lawmaker Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas). Granger has a history of supporting credit unions and succeeded in a primary challenge by former technology executive Chris Putnam.

Granger defeated Republican challenger Chris Putnam, taking 58.2% of the vote.

CULAC and CCUL also supported Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), a longtime champion of credit union issues. As of Wednesday morning, Cuellar leads challenger Jessica Cisneros 51.6% to 48.4%.

Notable open seat wins include:

  • State Rep. Deborah Ross (D), supported by CULAC and the Carolinas Credit Union League, prevailed in a four-candidate primary race for the seat currently held by retiring Rep. George Holding (R-N.C.); and
  • Gina Ortiz Jones (D), with support from CULAC and the CCUL, overcame a five-way Democratic primary, and will face a Republican in November in what will be one of the most closely watched Congressional races in the country to replace retiring Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas).

Races that have yet to be called, but where credit union-backed candidates are leading, include:

  • California state Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D) is leading in two races. The first is the primary to serve the remainder of the term of former Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.), who resigned in November. The top two candidates for this election will proceed to a special election held May 12.
  • Smith is also leading in the primary for the same seat’s full-term election to take place in November. CULAC and the California Credit Union League intend to support Smith in this election too;
  • State Assemblyman Jay Obernotle (R), backed by CULAC and the California Credit Union League, advanced to the general in the seat vacated by retiring Rep. Paul Cook (R-Calif.);

CUNA announced earlier this year it will spend a record $7 million in the 2020 election cycle to support congressional candidates on both sides of the aisle.

To date, 100% of CUNA-supported candidates have been successful in primary contests called.