WASHINGTON — Friends of Traditional Banking, a SuperPAC formed by numerous state banking associations, has narrowed the list of candidates it is supporting to Republican Senate incumbents Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Dean Heller of Nevada.
Howard Headlee, president of the Utah Bankers Association and one of the organizers of the SuperPAC, disclosed the final decision Thursday during a panel discussion at American Banker's Regulatory Symposium in Arlington, Va. Headlee said the SuperPAC's board, made up of several community bankers, voted on the decision earlier in the day.
Brown remains in a neck-and-neck race with Elizabeth Warren, Harvard professor and founder of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Heller is running against Rep. Shelley Berkley, a Nevada Democrat.
The group, which was formed last spring, had previously put forward a list of seven potential candidates. That shortlist included Rep. Francisco Canseco, a Republican trying to win again in Texas, and Bob Dieterich, a community banker and GOP challenger to Democratic Rep. Paul Tonko in upstate New York.
Headlee cautioned that the group is "not going to be buying advertising and doing things most people associate with a SuperPAC."
"We're out across the country trying to sign up every one who views themselves as a friend of traditional banking, and we're simply making a recommendation to them to each write individual checks directly to the candidates," he said. "We're signing people up and trying to create as big a list as we can."