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WASHINGTON-As CUNA and the Texas Credit Union League discovered during a special election in the state’s 19th district, not everyone is perfect. Randy Neugebauer (R), who received financial and grassroots support from the Credit Union Legislative Action Council and the Texas League, narrowly defeated his opponent Mike Conaway (D) in a special election for the 19th congressional district in Texas to replace retiring Congressman Larry Combest (R). Despite Neugebauer’s past experience as a banker-turned-land developer, CUNA and the Texas League supported the candidate with $5,000 from CULAC. Neugebauer won the election by just 715 votes (50.6%), according to southwestfarmpress.com. “Special elections are watched more closely because there’s not a lot going on there right now.electorally,” CUNA Vice President of Political Affairs Richard Gose said. He pointed out that neither candidate had a political voting record to go by in this election. According to Texas League Vice President of Government Relations Jeff Huffman, a meeting was organized with about two-dozen credit union representatives from the district and Neugebauer to discuss credit union issues. Huffman said they were pleased with his stances on the credit union tax-exempt status, regulatory relief, economic development in West Texas where the district is located, and the federal regulatory structure. “In other words we weren’t just active on the financial side. We also had our grassroots active in that race which is always a good thing, especially in the special election when things like that tend to matter a lot,” CUNA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs John McKechnie explained. Huffman added, “I think he’s going to do a great job for Texas.” “We’re looking forward to a good relationship there,” Gose echoed. He also pointed out that 551 credit unions have a presence in Texas’ 19th district representing 34,487 members identified so far by CUNA’s Project Zip Code. He noted that neither candidate even reached 30,000 votes. Combest, in his tenth term, announced his retirement, as of May 31, last fall. He was a member of the agriculture and small business committees. Gose, who formerly worked for the National Association of Home Builders, said that he did not know Neugebauer personally. [email protected]

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