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WASHINGTON-As political races come down to the wire, CUNA’s six Credit Union Champions are still facing up hill battles. Representative Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) still faces a very tight race, according to CUNA Vice President of Political Affairs Richard Gose, with nemesis Jim Humphreys, who was also her opponent in a tough race in 2000. Capito introduced the Financial Services Regulatory Relief Bill (H.R. 3951) this session, which included several positive provisions for credit unions. West Virginia being typically a Democratic state adds to the odds against her reelection, but Gose said he feels that the race “looks good” for credit unions. The father of the Bankruptcy Reform legislation (H.R. 333), Congressman George Gekas (R-Pa.) is neck and neck with fellow incumbent Tim Holden (D). Gose said the entire election may simply depend upon who shows up at the polls. Credit unions around the country are pushing their own Get Out The Vote efforts. Senate Banking Committee Member Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), supported by Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), is another Credit Union Champion fighting to retain his seat in the upper house of Congress. He ensured credit union parity in the Deposit Insurance Reform bill, which he wrote, as well as acting as a strong bankruptcy reform advocate and supporting World Council of Credit Unions funding for its efforts in Mexico. He is facing Congressman John Thune (R-S.D.) supported by President George W. Bush. Congressman Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.) is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, where tax bills originate, and has exhibited a strong commitment to maintaining credit unions’ tax-exempt status. He authored the Youth Financial Literacy Bill, supported bankruptcy reform, and backed pension reforms. Financial Services Committee Member Dennis Moore (D-Kan.) often seeks credit union input before making decisions. The typically Republican state has always forced Moore to work hard to earn his seat in Congress. Last election cycle, credit union supporter Congressman Clay Shaw (R-Fla.) won his reelection by 599 votes. Shaw is also a member of the Ways and Means Committee in the House. Gose pointed out that there are probably less than 25 seats that are especially tight and another 15 to 20 that could become so given certain circumstances. He commented that the Republicans seem very comfortable about their hold on the House, while he projected that Democrats would do the same in the Senate. Overall, the Credit Union Legislative Action Council of CUNA (CULAC) has given to more than 350 candidates, a feat that only three other groups can lay claim to. -

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