Overwhelming Majority of ANCA-WR Endorsed Candidates Win

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LOS ANGELES—While Donald Trump’s ascent to the US presidency has dominated the election news cycle, candidates vying for federal, state and local offices also had reason to celebrate Tuesday night, as an overwhelming majority of candidates endorsed by the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region won their races.

California voters returned former State Assemblymember Anthony Portantino to the State Capitol in his new role as a State Senator from the 25th district. He beat LA County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, garnering 57.5 percent of the votes. Former Assemblymember Scott Wilk won his race for the State Senate from the 21st district by receiving 54.8 percent of the votes. Candidates Scott Wiener (D-11), Ling-Ling Chang (R-29) and incumbent Ricardo Lara (D-33) also won their bids for the California State Senate.

On the California State Assembly front, the much-watched and anticipated race in the 43rd district saw Glendale City Councilmember Laura Friedman defeat Glendale City Clerk Ardy Kassakhian, in a race marred by Friedman’s underhanded tactics, which often saw overt anti-Armenian assertions. On Wednesday morning, campaign officials and the ANCA-WR Hye Votes administrators were working hard to tally the Armenian vote, which was at its highest during the June 7 California Primary Elections.

In a letter to supporters, Kassakhian thanked all those who turned out to vote for him and those individuals who were actively engaged in his campaign by volunteering or donating toward the effort.

“This campaign has been one of the most profound and rewarding experiences of my life. The friendships I’ve made, the people I’ve met and the relationships we fostered were built to last. It is a humbling thing to have so many people whose values I share work so tirelessly alongside me, deep into the night, sometimes before dawn. Our campaign team worked so hard and I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I thank you, profoundly, and I swear I will never take your support for granted, and I will never stop working to advance our beliefs,” said Kassakhian.

“The results of yesterday’s elections fell short of our expectations. These results are not a reflection of the dedicated efforts and outpouring of support that I received from you. Our race was very competitive from the outset, we knew that it would be a hard road. Despite the challenges, we entered the arena and chose to fight, call, write, walk, share, listen, knock. We chose to champion our values. We may have lost this race but we made a powerful statement that will resonate far and wide,” explained Kassakhian saying, “You will hear from me again very soon. I promise you this.”

Incumbent Adrin Nazarian won his re-election bid in the state’s 46th Assembly district. All other ANCA-WR-endorsed candidates for the State Assembly won their races, with the exception of Cheryl Brown from the state’s 47th Assembly district.

ANCA-WR-endorsed candidate Katheryn Barger won her bid for the Los Angeles County Supervisor’s seat, which was long held by Antonovich who was termed out.

Californians voted to elect State Attorney General Kamal Harris to the US Senate, filling the vacancy left by Barbara Boxer who held that position since 1992 and who announced her retirement earlier this year. Thus, ANCA-WR-endorsed Rep. Loretta Sanchez was unsuccessful in her bid for that seat.

All ANCA-WR-endorsed candidates for the House of Representatives won their elections on Tuesday.

The ANCA-WR-endorsed Measure GC, a $325-million bond that will pay for major upgrades at Glendale Community College, handily was approved by the 73 percent of voters.

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