LOWELL, Massachusetts (Armenian Weekly)—Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian was re-elected on September 8 after defeating Barry Kelleher for the Democratic nomination in the Massachusetts State Primary. Koutoujian will now run unopposed in the November general election.
Koutoujian was sworn in as Middlesex County sheriff in 2011 by Governor Duval Patrick. In November 2012, he won election, representing 1.5 million residents with 77 percent of the vote.
“Since the beginning, Koutoujian has hit the ground running, utilizing his legal and legislative experience to implement his vision toward law enforcement inside his district. His first action was to institute new policies designed to increase public confidence in the historic department,” wrote Middlesex County resident and long-time Armenian Weekly columnist Tom Vartabedian in a July article.
Koutoujian spent several years spearheading efforts to win the approval of Armenian Heritage Park, which opened May 2012, along the newly created Rose Kennedy Greenway. For his efforts, he was awarded the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor as well as the Mkhitar Gosh Medal for exemplary service in the field of diplomacy, law, and political science.
Koutoujian’s grandparents emigrated to the United States from Western Armenia during the genocide and settled in Waltham, Massachusetts. His dad became a fixture in the community, serving as city councilor and later as city clerk. Peter followed his father into elected office and made Armenian-American issues a central focus throughout his political career.