WASHINGTON — An influential banking SuperPAC has narrowed its watch list of candidates for the November elections, saying it will focus solely on Senate races this year.

Friends of Traditional Banking last month released its preliminary list of 20 midterm races in the House and Senate to watch. The group will ultimately narrow the list down to two candidates that it will urge bankers to contribute to directly.

The decision to turn its attention to the Senate comes as Democrats and Republicans battle for control of the chamber, though whoever wins is likely to hold a slim majority. The House, meanwhile, is expected to remain under GOP control.

"The U.S. Senate is the primary obstacle to the regulatory relief sought by traditional banks," according to Matt Packard, chairman of the group and president and chief executive of Central Bank in Provo, Utah. "We need more senators that understand the vital role traditional banking plays in our local communities."

The SuperPAC is now focusing on Reps. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Cory Gardner, R-Colo., who are all running for the Senate, along with Sens. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and Mitch McConnell, Ky., the chamber's minority leader. State senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Terri Lynn Land of Michigan have also been identified for their Senate campaigns.

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