House Financial Services Committee Chairman Bachus wins primary, avoids runoff


House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-AL) survived one of the toughest political challenges of his career Tuesday as he escaped with a GOP primary win in a crowded Republican field.

Alabama state Senator Scott Beason, a Tea Party favorite, posed the most serious threat Bachus ever faced in his 19-year Congressional career. Many political analysts looked to the Bachus contest as a potential harbinger. 

Beason called the Bachus camp to concede.

Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) unexpectedly lost her primary a week ago in an upset that no one saw coming. Some wondered if history could repeat itself.

Some political observers argued that Schmidt’s loss was a unique case. But her race bore striking similarities to Bachus’s primary. 

Tea party candidate Brad Wenstrup hammered Schmidt alongside the Campaign for Primary Accountability, an anti-incumbent 'Super PAC.' The same 'Super PAC' came after Bachus.

Bachus’s office recently indicated that the Office of Congressional Ethics is conducting a preliminary probe into whether the Congressman engaged in insider trading during the financial crisis of 2008.

Bachus has maintained his innocence as he heads the House panel that regulates the financial services industry.

However, the ethics issues were especially poor-timed as Congress wrangles with the STOCK Act, which officially bans policymakers from insider trading.

The Federal Election Commission reports that Bachus’s campaign spent far more money than Beason - $752,000 compared to $37,000 from Jan. 1 to Feb. 22.