In a victory for the GOP, Massachusetts State Sen. Scott Brown beat CUNA-backed Democratic nominee Attorney General Martha Coakley in yesterday's special election for the seat held for almost 47 years by U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who died last August.
CUNA's political action committee, the Credit Union Legislative Action Council, contributed $5,000 to the general election campaign of Democratic nominee Coakley. CULAC had originally backed U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, who finished a distant second in the Democratic primary.
CUNA hasn't said if CULAC plans to contribute to Brown's campaign fund but it has a history of giving money to candidates who won elections, even after it supported the candidate who lost.
The 52%-47% victory of Brown, who had trailed Coakley by double digits in some polls, deprives Democrats of their 60th vote in the Senate, which they have used to break GOP filibusters on several issues, including health care reform.
Brown is the first Republican U.S. Senator from Massachusetts since Edward Brooke was defeated in 1978. However, despite the Bay State's reputation as a Democratic stronghold, the GOP has held the governor's office for all but three years since 1991.