House Candidate Gets CU Support In Comeback Bid

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Credit unions have weighed-in heavily in support of an old congressional supporter making a comeback after being ousted from the House in the 2000 elections.

CUNA has contributed the maximum $15,000 to the campaign of Republican Brian Bilbray, who is running to fill the vacancy in the state's 50th congressional district created by the conviction on corruption charges of long-time Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who is headed to prison.

Bilbray was a credit union supporter during his years in Congress and one of the original sponsors of HR 1151, the 1998 CU Membership Access Act.

He came in a distant second to Democrat Francine Busby in a special election in this heavily Republican district last month.

But because Busby failed to receive the required 50% of the vote, Bilbray qualified for a run-off with Busby.

The two candidates will face-off in a June 6 special election to serve out the final months of Cunningham's two-year term. They may even face each other again in November when the full two-year term is at stake.

CUNA was able to exceed the normal maximum contribution for Bilbray because contributions were segregated between special election and general election funds.

Ed Roberts can be reached at robertscuj cujournal.com

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