DENVER—The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region announced its support for Rep. Rhonda Fields in the competitive Democratic primary race in state senate district (SD) 29 and for Rep. Cole Wist in the Republican primary race in house district (HD) 37 in the cities of Aurora and Centennial that are home to many of Colorado’s 5,000-strong Armenian community.
“The ANCA-WR is proud to endorse the carefully-vetted candidates in Colorado SD 29 and HD 37, who would represent many Armenian Americans and continue fighting for Armenian Genocide recognition and issues of concern to our community in the Colorado legislature,” remarked Executive Director Elen Asatryan. “As part of our ongoing efforts to educate and energize Armenian constituents throughout the Western US, we will be launching our HyeVotes voter registration and GOTV initiative in the Centennial State to ensure that our collective voice is heard at the ballot box. This follows our successful work in California that registered over 10,000 new voters just this year and set a record-breaking turnout by the Armenian-American community on June 7,” continued Asatryan.
As a part of the endorsement process, the ANCA-WR Board worked in conjunction with local chapter constituents to carefully review each candidate’s track record in SD 29 and HD 37. ANCA-WR endorsements are based largely on the candidate’s preparedness and demonstrated ability to address issues ranging from justice for the Armenian Genocide, promoting Armenian Genocide education in public schools, support for the independent Republic of Artsakh, and local community needs.
A forceful advocate for families, children, and public safety, Rhonda Fields was first elected to serve the Colorado House of Representatives for the 68th General Assembly in 2010. She is the first African American woman elected to the state legislature to represent Aurora’s House District 42, Arapahoe County. In November 2014, she was reelected to her third term in the House of Representatives. She currently serves as the Chair of the Local Government committee and is a ranking member on the Education Committee.
Cole Wist is a fourth-generation Coloradan and was raised in Paonia on Colorado’s western slope. Currently serving as State Representative for District 37, he works on many important issues affecting the citizens of his district and all Colorado residents and businesses. He is an attorney and currently serves on the House Business Affairs & Labor Committee and on the House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee. Rep. Wist considers himself a “proud honorary Armenian” by marriage.
Ballots for registered voters in Colorado’s primary election have been mailed out, but voter registration will continue leading up to the primary on June 28.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian-American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices and supporters around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.