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WASHINGTON-When CUNA and NAFCU backed opposing candidates in a run off election between Democrat Willie Landry Mount and Republican Charles Boustany, respectively, somebody had to come out on top. NAFCU’s Boustany turned out to be the winner in the Dec. 4 run off. NAFCU-PAC had contributed $1,000 to Boustany’s campaign at the urging of some friends on the Hill to look into the race, according to NAFCU Director of Legislative and Political Affairs Brad Thaler. “We did talk to member credit unions down there before we did it,” he added. It did look like he was likely to win, Thaler explained, so NAFCU wanted to build a positive relationship from the ground floor. “I think he will realize we supported him early on,” he said. NAFCU has not met with him yet and has nothing scheduled at this time, but plans to meet with Boustany early in the 109th Congress. Thaler said that the trade association’s friends on the Hill are putting a good word in Boustany’s ear for them. “We look forward to talking with him,” the lobbyist said, including on subjects like the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (H.R. 3579). CUNA, on the other hand, backed the Democratic candidate with $7,500 in funds from the Credit Union Legislative Action Council, according to CUNA Vice President of Political Affairs Richard Gose. As a state senator, Mount has been supportive of credit union issues, he said. Additionally, her husband is a lawyer in Lake Charles, La. serving a number of credit unions in the area. Gose pointed out that CUNA went 329-9 in the 2004 elections and is not afraid to take chances when a credit union-friendly candidate is in the race. “We’re not always right, no one is. When we choose a candidate and that candidate losses, we go to the winner” and build a relationship from there if they are good on credit union issues, he said. On a positive note, Gose indicated that Mount will continue serving in the state legislature. -

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