As I write this, we’re in the midst of our first snow event of the season so I guess winter is officially upon us. While it seems like it’s been awhile since we had snow, the novelty of shoveling and plowing has already worn off. Not a great sign. My wife has also informed me that our older dog has again exercised her apparent right to move her bathroom indoors! Also, not a great sign.
Speaking of seasons, how about that election season! I know we’re all glad it’s over, but it really was something to watch unfold. At the national level, public pollsters and election models just absolutely missed it. Republicans not only won the presidency, but also held a majority in the US Senate (which was somewhat unexpected) and lost many fewer seats in the US House than anticipated.
I think it’s also interesting to note that of the 535 Senators and Representatives in DC, over 60 percent of them were not in Congress during the 2008 financial crisis. Hopefully, unified control of the executive and legislative branches presents a unique opportunity for community bank regulatory relief in this next Congress. Additionally, the results of this election will have a profound effect on the makeup of the US Supreme Court.
Closer to home, statewide races in North Dakota went as expected. Legislative races however held a bit more intrigue. Minority leaders in both the Senate and House along with the chair of the Democratic Party lost re-election bids. Republicans in the House picked up 10 seats for a super-majority of 81-13 while Senate Republicans picked up 6 seats for a 38-9 super-majority. The halls of the North Dakota State Capitol will be teeming with three dozen new faces come January as one out of every four legislators will be newly elected in 2016. Rest assured ICBND has already been reaching out to these new legislators to communicate the importance of independent community banking in our state and the challenges we face.
Most importantly, let me be early in wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!