Spotlight on Armenian American Candidates in the 2012 Elections

Armenian Americans are running for election across the country for a myriad of federal, state and local positions.  Take a moment to see who is running for office in your neighborhood and lend your support.

U.S. Congress:

Danny Tarkanian

Danny Tarkanian (R-NV-4)
Successful business owner Danny Tarkanian, and son of famed UNLV Basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian is running as the Republican candidate in the newly created 4th Congressional district in Nevada.  A victory by Danny Tarkanian would increase the number of Armenian Americans in the House of Representatives to three – he would join Reps. Anna Eshoo and Jackie Kanchelian Speier – and would serve as the only Republican Armenian American elected official on Capitol Hill.

Anna Eshoo

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA-18) – ANCA Rating: A+
Of Armenian and Assyrian descent, Rep. Eshoo knows of the devastating effects of the Armenian Genocide and Turkey’s denial of that crime and has spoken eloquently about the importance of U.S. affirmation at the annual Capitol Hill Armenian Genocide Observance.  She has also been an outspoken advocate for self-determination for Nagorno Karabakh, most recently issuing a strong statement condemning the Aliyev pardon, promotion and praise for convicted Azerbaijani axe-murderer Ramil Safarov.  For her principled and steadfast support of key Armenian American priorities, Armenian President Serge Sargisyan awarded her the Mkhitar Gosh Medal, the Armenian government’s highest civilian honor.

Jackie Speier

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA-14) – ANCA Rating: A+
A three-term House member, Rep. Speier, who along with Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) is of Armenian ancestry, has been outspoken in her support for Armenian Genocide affirmation and ongoing efforts to secure Turkey’s return of confiscated Christian properties.  She has also been an active proponent of increased U.S. aid and trade for Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. She has lead the charge to defend the California law she authored while a State Senator, which helped Armenian Genocide-era life insurance beneficiaries seek compensation for unpaid policies.  The law has been challenged in court and Rep. Speier has helped defend the law in numerous court filings including before the Supreme Court, where it is now under consideration.

Statewide Election:
Brad Avakian (D-OR) – State Labor Commissioner

State Senate:
Aram Garabedian – (I-RI-27)
Tim Kapucian – (R-IA-38)
Al Shoushtarian – (I-ID-14)
Stephen Simonian – (R-MA-Worcester-2nd Dist.)

State Assembly

Paul Saryan

Paul Saryian (R-NY-61)
A former NYPD police captain who served his city for 24 years with pride, honor and integrity, Saryian is now seeking a position in the New York State Assembly to continue his public service for the benefit of Staten Island residents.  Saryian has been a forceful advocate for U.S. affirmation and justice for the Armenian Genocide, working closely with New York ANCA activists to successfully unseat outspoken pro-Turkey advocate Michael McMahon from the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010.  The grandson of Armenian Genocide survivors, Saryian has explained that “Justice and making a difference is all that ever mattered to me. It’s the main reason why I became a police officer. It is also the reason why I am proud to announce that I am a candidate for New York State Assembly.”

Katcho Achadjian (R-CA-35)
Mary Beth Ayvazian (D-NH-Hillsborough 25 (2))
Gary Azarian (R-NH-Rockingham 8 (9))
King Banaian (R-MN-14B)
John Fresolo (D-MA-Worcester – 16th Dist.)
Katherine S. Kazarian (D-RI-63)
Greg Krikorian (R-CA-43)
Mary Lou Marzian (D-KY-34)
James Miceli (D-MA-Middlesex-19th Dist.)
Adrin Nazarian (D-CA-46)
Charlene Takesian (R-NH-Hillsborough 37 (11))
Kelly Upham-Torosian (D-NH-Rockingham 4 (5))

County and City Elections
Scott Avedisian (R) running for Mayor of Warwick, RI
Linda Arzoumanian (R) Pima County AZ School Superintendent
Charlie Diradour (D) running for Richmond, VA City Council
Richelle Noroyan (D) running for Santa Cruz, CA City Council
Peter Koutoujian (D) running for Middlesex County, MA Sheriff

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