SAN DIEGO – Outside “Super PACs,” including the credit union-backed Restoring Our Community, are pouring millions of dollars into the election for what is shaping up as one of the most expensive House races in the country, the state’s 52nd Congressional District, where long-time credit union champion Brian Bilbray is trying to navigate the state’s redistricting.
The credit union PAC, which was organized last spring by the California CU League to support the unsuccessful candidacy of former Arrowhead Central CU executive Pete Aguilar, spent $40,000 Tuesday on TV and radio ads touting Bilbray, the seven-term Republican who has become a reliable vote for credit union bills. Bilbray won 57% of the vote in 2010 and would nominally be considered a strong favorite but is in a close race with San Diego Port Commissioner and former city councilman Scott Peters in a newly drawn district that is equal parts Republican and Democrat.
The credit union Super PAC, which raised $350,000 earlier this year, also financed a direct mailing last Friday for Republican Ed Royce, one of the most dependable credit union supporters in the House, who has sponsored a number of credit union bills. Royce is a strong favorite to win an 11th term in the newly drawn 39th district.
The credit union league put up $250,000 of the seed money for the Super PAC and spend $125,000 on the bid for Aquilar, the mayor of the city of Redlands who lost in the state’s non-partisan primary.