Credit union-backed candidates win in Tuesday elections

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Candidates supported by credit unions won at the ballot box in Wisconsin and Nebraska on Tuesday.

Ben Sasse, the freshman Republican senator from Nebraska, sailed to victory in the Republican primary. Fellow Republican incumbents from the Cornhusker State — Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, Rep. Don Bacon and Rep. Adrian Smith — also prevailed in their primaries.

All of those candidates were backed by the Credit Union Legislative Action Council — the Credit Union National Association’s federal political action committee — and the Nebraska Credit Union League.

Sasse was one of eight senators who voted against the coronavirus relief package in March.

“Nebraska’s credit unions have earned strong bipartisan support in Congress and in the legislature because our elected officials understand well that credit unions are the trusted financial partner of over 525,000 hardworking Nebraskans,” Brandon Luetkenhaus, NCUL’s chief advocacy officer, wrote in an e-mail.

State Sen. Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin won the seat for the state's 7th Congressional District. The Wisconsin Credit Union League and CULAC supported Tiffany in the special election.

CUNA pledged earlier this year to spend a record $7 million in the 2020 election cycle. More than 380 candidates backed by CULAC in 2018 were elected, representing a 91% success rate for the midterms, according to CUNA.

Not every credit union-backed candidate won on Tuesday, however. The California Credit Union League and CULAC supported Assemblywoman Christy Smith's bid for California's 25th Congressional District in a special election. Official results of that election have yet to be released, but polling numbers from Wednesday morning showed Republican Mike Garcia with a sizeable lead over Smith, who is a Democrat.

Neither the CCUL nor the WCUL immediately responded to a request for comment.

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