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Former credit union CEO seeks an end to political divisiveness

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Larry Hoff wants everyone to know he does not have a political ax to grind – which he believes will make for an improvement in the current climate if he is elected come Nov. 6.

Hoff served as CEO of Fibre FCU in Longview, Wash., from 2001 until his retirement at the end of 2016. As he says on his candidate page, after 35 years of helping people, he still feels “a continued desire and need to serve the public."

Hoff is seeking a seat as a State Representative for Washington’s District 18, Position 2, running as a Republican. He has never run for a political office prior to this election. In a recent interview with Credit Union Journal, he said his time leading a successful credit union gave him “solid leadership experience” that will come in handy if he is elected.

“My time in credit unions will give me the ability to examine a bill or a project and consider it thoroughly rather than get mired in the minutiae,” he said. “I am really looking forward to collaborating with everybody, as all credit unions CEOs do, to find the right strategic solution to any problem. Credit union CEOs have to look long-term.”

Asked what his biggest overall legislative priority will be if he is elected, Hoff asserted all credit union professionals, including him, have always been “champions” of small businesses and working people. He explained he wants to “dig in” to existing regulations in Washington state and attempt to “smooth out the path” for businesses in the community.

“There are many regulations inhibiting business growth,” he declared. “In our state legislature we do not pay attention to how much we are spending. We attempt to balance the budget on the income side rather than the expense side. Raising taxes is always seen as the easy solution, I think we should put more focus on saving taxpayer money rather than spending.”

Hoff believes the biggest issue facing credit unions is the need to continue to give American citizens the ability to choose between a bank and a credit union. “This choice is vital to both industries,” he said. “We have existed together for many years, and can exist together for many years to come, so we need to protect that right to choose.”

As for what state government can do for CUs, Hoff said for “way too long,” credit unions have depended on having “credit union friends” in the various state houses and senates across the country. He insisted there is a difference between a “credit union friend” and a “credit union champion.” He said a credit union champion knows the history of credit unions and the viable difference between banks and credit unions.

“Obviously, I will be a credit union champion,” he said with a laugh.

So how can a state representative with credit union experience help other CUs in that state?

“I am attempting to run as a businessman, a leader and a candidate who wants to eliminate some of the divisiveness that we hear in the state and obviously the nation,” Hoff said. “I am looking forward to working with everybody to find good solutions to some of our challenges.”

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