Credit union stalwart Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) saw his 26-year congressional career end, yet Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) survived yesterday's election which gave the Republicans large gains in both chambers.
Kanjorski, who sponsored many key credit union initiatives, lost to Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta despite financial and in-person support from national and local credit union groups. CUNA's PAC did an extensive partisan communication effort and gave his campaign $10,000. NAFCU's PAC also gave him $10,000 and its members did extensive work on the ground.
Kanjorski lost 54.5% to 45% to Barletta, who had tried two other times to defeat him.
Reid received contributions from both PACs. In addition, CUNA's PAC spent $152,535 on independent expenditures for a direct mail campaign on his behalf.
He defeated former state Rep. Sharron Angle 50.2% to 44.6%
Most of the candidates on whose behalf CUNA's PAC made independent expenditures won.
Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), won an open Senate seat by defeating Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan 50.3% to 46%. CUNA's Credit Union Legislative Action Council spent $152,500 to produce and air radio ads for him.
CULAC also spent $156,320 for a direct mail campaign on behalf of Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), who defeated state Rep. Scot Bruun 51.3% to 46.1%.
CULAC also spent $147,000 to produce and buy air time for radio ads on behalf of state Rep. Cory Gardner, who defeated U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey (D-Colo.) 53.4% to 40.5%.
CULAC also spent $163,041 to produce and buy air time for television ads on behalf of Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.) who was defeated 48.1% to 45.9% by GOP state Rep. Kristi Noem.
Both House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and the top Republican Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) were re-elected, with financial support from credit unions. However, as a result of the GOP takeover in the House the two lawmakers are likely to switch positions.
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, was also re-elected.