Credit Union-supported Candidates take Wins in Idaho

Forty candidates backed by credit unions retained or won seats in the Nov. 6 elections.

11/13/18

Brad Little, currently Idaho’s Lt. Governor, will be sworn in as the Gem State’s 33rd governor in January. Little won 60 percent of the vote in last Tuesday’s elections. Little was among many credit union-backed candidates winning elections last week.

“It was a hard-fought election cycle that included open seats for several offices, including the first Congressional seat, Governor, Lt. Governor, and State Treasurer,” said Ryan Fitzgerald, Northwest Credit Union Association Vice President of Legislative Affairs for Idaho. “With two citizen-proposed propositions on the ballot and a full slate of legislative races, it was very lively.”

Fitzgerald noted Democrats had a net gain of three seats in the Idaho House, and a net gain of one seat in the Senate.

Forty credit union-supported candidates were elected Nov. 6, including three for whom credit unions hosted fundraisers in August. They are Senate President Pro Tempore Brent Hill (D), Senator Mary Souza (R), and House Minority Leader Mat Erpelding, (R, District 18).

NWCUA will host new legislators at a Nov. 30 event in Boise, where information about credit unions and financial technology will be shared. Idaho credit union advocates are urged to register now to attend Idaho Credit Union Day at the Capitol Jan. 30, where they can meet with their legislators.

A hot topic during the election was healthcare, resulting in the passage of Proposition No. 2, which will require the legislature to expand the state’s Medicaid program to allow Idahoans with certain income criteria to qualify for Medicaid coverage. The Medicaid program is funded by federal and state dollars, so the legislature will need to determine how best to pay for its share of the expanded program.

“We will closely monitor the funding mechanism being considered for this program expansion throughout the 2019 session,” Fitzgerald noted.

At the federal level, credit union-supported incumbent Representative Mike Simpson (R, District 2), was easily re-elected. Russ Fulcher, a Republican from Meridian, handily won the open First District seat vacated by Representative Raul Labrador. Idaho’s credit unions were early supporters of Fulcher, and during a lunch with credit union leaders in early November, he thanked them, noting they were among the very first groups to back his candidacy.

Idaho credit union advocates will be able to meet with their elected federal officials during CUNA GAC, March 10-14, 2019.