CU-backed candidates victorious in midterm elections

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The vast majority of credit union-backed candidates in New York fared well in yesterday’s midterm elections. The New York Credit Union Association’s state-level credit union political action committee, CUPAC, made a strong push for many of the newly elected and re-elected individuals running for state office.

In statewide races, Democrats swept their Republican challengers: Gov. Andrew Cuomo was elected to a third term; Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul was re-elected; Letitia James was elected as the new state attorney general; and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli won re-election. U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand also easily won re-election.

Most significantly, Democrats regained an outright majority in the state Senate, giving the party full control of state government for the first time in a decade, and just the second time in history.

The Association believes the shift in power in the state Senate is good news for credit unions. Senate Democrats have signaled support for some of the credit union movement’s long-standing legislative priorities, such as municipal deposits.

At the federal level, Democrats gained control of the House of Representatives, while Republicans picked up seats in the U.S. Senate. Significantly for credit unions, this means Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California, will likely serve as the new chair of the influential House Financial Services Committee. While not as receptive to regulation relief as current Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, Waters is considered a fair and shrewd dealmaker by many industry insiders, Politico reported.

In New York, at least two significant House seats flipped from Republican to Democrat: In the 19th Congressional District, political newcomer Antonio Delgado defeated incumbent Rep. John Faso. On Staten Island, in the 11th Congressional District, Max Rose defeated Rep. Dan Donovan.

Additionally, as of this morning, Democratic challenger Anthony Brindisi, a state assemblyman, appeared to have defeated Rep. Claudia Tenney, the incumbent Republican. Brindisi leads Tenney by about 1,400 votes, with 100 percent of precincts reporting.

The Association and the state’s credit unions have maintained a strong working relationship with Tenney, who is receptive to the credit union message.

No House seats in the state flipped from Democratic control to Republican.

In the U.S. Senate, where Republicans gained seats, credit unions could see a change in leadership on the banking committee, which is currently chaired by Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, who could potentially become the new chairman of the Finance Committee.

“Yesterday’s elections resulted in major shake-ups at both the state and federal levels,” said Association President/CEO William J. Mellin. “Fortunately, the credit union movement is well-positioned to work with lawmakers from both parties and across the political spectrum who understand the importance of not-for-profit financial cooperatives. We look forward to working with our new state Senate majority and lawmakers in Congress to continue advancing the credit union agenda.”

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