Credit Union Association Endorses Four Congressional Candidates

The Credit Union Association of New York has announced its endorsement of four Congressional candidates: Chris Collins (R), Hakeem Jeffries (D), Dan Maffei (D) and Grace Meng (D). The endorsements are based on meetings with candidates, feedback from credit unions in the candidates’ districts and, where applicable, the candidates’ legislative records.

Collins (R) is running against first-term incumbent Rep. Kathleen Hochul (D-26th District). He is a successful small businessman with 36 years in the private sector where he saved and created hundreds of jobs in Erie, Niagara and Monroe counties. In 2007, he was elected Erie County Executive. During his four-year term, he reduced overall debt by more than $120 million, created a cash surplus in excess of $100 million and earned approval of a four-year plan that will reduce the county’s debt by another $100 million by 2015.

“I am honored to have the support of the Credit Union Association of New York. As someone who has spent the past 36 years in the private sector, creating or saving over 500 jobs here in Western New York, I understand that growing small business is the key to getting our economy back on track,” said Collins. “Credit unions provide small business men and women with crucial financial support, allowing them to invest in their companies and create the jobs we need to grow this economy.”

Jeffries (D) is running for the Congressional seat vacated by Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-10th District). He is a state assemblyman, a member of the Assembly Banks Committee and sponsor of two pro-credit union bills for 2012: field of membership (FOM) legislation and the Banking Development District bill.

“I am proud to have the support of Credit Union Association of New York,” said Jeffries. “In the state assembly, I fought to promote the growth of credit unions as an incredibly important banking option for working families in the communities that I represent. I look forward to working with CUANY and taking this partnership with me to Washington.”

Maffei (D) is running against first-term incumbent Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-25th District). A former Congressman, Maffei was defeated by Buerkle in 2010. While in Congress, he served on the Financial Services Committee, sponsored a bill to carve out credit unions from contributing to the “too big to fail” fund required under the Dodd-Frank Act and focused on bringing jobs to his area through investments in its infrastructure.

“Credit unions are such important financial institutions within our communities. The members and the people who work at credit unions know and understand the needs of our local communities,” said Maffei. “As a member of a credit union, I am honored to be endorsed by the Credit Union Association of New York and Central New Yorkers who provide such a valuable service to our local communities.”

Meng (D) is running for the seat vacated by Rep. Robert Turner (R-9th District). She is a state assemblywoman who serves on the Assembly Banks Committee. She has cosponsored and voted in favor of numerous pieces of credit union legislation during her tenure in the Assembly.

“I am so honored to have been endorsed by the Credit Union Association of New York,” said Meng. “Credit unions support our communities and industries here in Queens, and they exemplify strength and responsibility in financial management. Credit unions are truly pillars of our community, and I look forward to working with them as a Member of Congress.”

“We are pleased to back these candidates, who have demonstrated support for credit unions and understand the value of offering New Yorkers a not-for-profit financial option,” said William J. Mellin, president and CEO of the Association. “We look forward to working with these candidates during the remaining days of their campaigns and after they take office.”

The Credit Union Association of New York has served as the trade association for the state’s credit unions for 95 years. New York credit unions have assets of more than $57 billion and serve 4.6 million members