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<p>By PAUL GENTILE CU Times Editor JEFFERSONTON, Va. – Tom Hughes knew he was trying to get into a game that was already sold out, but he says adding his name to the mix for one of the vacant NCUA Board seats may help him the next time there’s a vacancy. Hughes, who spent 43 years in the Navy and nine years as president/CEO of Navy FCU, wrote the Bush Administration asking to be considered for one of the open board seats. His letter was rendered moot at press time as Bush made his appointments for the two vacant spots. (See story page 1) In a letter dated Jan. 17 to Clay Johnson, director of personnel for the Bush Administration, Hughes briefly outlines his credentials and asks to be considered. “I truly believe that, though `long in the tooth’, as a healthy and sound-minded person, I could contribute to the NCUA Board without prejudice or influence from past credit union ties,” stated Hughes in the letter. Hughes, 75, retired from Navy FCU in 1989. He is a retired Vice Admiral of the U.S. Navy, which is pay grade 09, one below the top level. This was Hughes’ second attempt at winning a presidential nomination. In 1996 he wrote a similar letter to the Clinton administration to fill the vacancy left by Shirlee Bowne’. “I didn’t realize that the two vacancies would come up as quickly as they did, so I didn’t do anything, When the so-called firing of Wheat and Bacino happened, I figured I ought to throw my hat in the ring,” said Hughes. Hughes said though he is not a political animal, he knew enough of the current politics to realize his chances were slim to none of being appointed. So why bother? Hughes said this may help him the next time a slot opens, such as the end of next year when NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar’s term expires. “Dollar is more than half way through his term. I may be in a more reasonable position at that time,” said Hughes. Hughes is a Republican. He said he wouldn’t have a clear agenda going into a board seat, but there are a few issues he feels strongly about. “I’m happy that CAP went away. I do have general concerns than we continue to wander from the basic design and reason of credit unions. There’s too much seeking profit. The great spirit and dedication is waning,” said Hughes. He does believe CUs have a “moral” obligation to serve people of modest means, and not be out “to make every penny” they can. “Anyone who has been around the credit union scene for any length of time cannot but have the highest respect for Admiral Hughes and should the White House consider him for a vacancy on the NCUA Board, he represents a highly-qualified candidate,” said NAFCU PR manager John Zimmerman. [email protected]</p>

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