CUNA Loses Gamble On Arizona House Race

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PHOENIX – CUNA’s unusual foray into Arizona’s congressional races ended badly Tuesday with its candidate, former state Sen. Jim Waring, finishing third in the 10-candidate Republican primary, despite $50,000 in partisan communications from CUNA in the days leading up to the election.

Waring, one of the co-sponsors of the state’s controversial law on illegal immigrants, finished behind Ben Quayle, son of former Vice President Dan Quayle, and businessman Steve Moak. Quayle now will face Democrat Jon Hulbard in the race to succeed John Shadegg, who is retiring after eight terms in the House.

The effort on behalf of Waring was unusual for CUNA, which typically restricts its campaign support to a cash contribution from its political action committee or an independent expenditure separate from the candidate. CUNA’s political executives were disappointed by the results of the race, one of hundreds CUNA’s PAC will participate in this year. “Win or lose, being politically involved is important for credit unions, and as you know, we often are involved at a higher level in those races that are extremely competitive,” said Richard Gose, political director for CUNA.

Along with name recognition, Quayle had the advantage of money, relying on the help of his father's connections to raise $1.3 million for his campaign. Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld contributed to his campaign, and former President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara hosted a fundraiser for him.

CUNA did back Sen. John McCain, who easily bested former Congressman J.D. Hayworth in the Republican primary in his efforts for a fifth Senate term.

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