Armenian GOP Activist Challenges McConnell in Open Letter

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Photo courtesy of NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Photo courtesy of NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Editor’s Note: Armen S. Martin is an attorney in Los Angeles and founder of the National Organization of Republican Armenians. In an open letter addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Martin challenges the Senate Republicans’ position on the Armenian Genocide. Below is the text of the letter.

Dear Majority Leader McConnell,

As you know, Sara Gideon, an Armenian American is running for the U.S. Senate from Maine, in a hotly contested race that may determine whether the current Republican majority will continue to control the Senate.

As you might expect, Americans of Armenian heritage from across the political spectrum are motivated to see one of our own elected, for the first time ever, to the Senate. I have, in the days since her announcement, been asked by both Republicans and Democrats if I am supporting the incumbent Republican Senator Susan Collins, given her lack of support for Armenian issues. More to the point, I have been asked to explain what the Senate’s current majority has delivered on issues of special concern to Armenian American voters.

As a long-serving legislator, you recall that it has been close to thirty years now since Senator Robert Dole advanced the Armenian Genocide Resolution. In the decades since then, we have not seen Republican leaders—at either the full Senate or Committee levels—work for the adoption of this measure. A case in point is S.Res.150, which we understand enjoys considerable support among members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but has yet to be scheduled by the panel’s chairman for a mark-up or vote. Similarly, on other Armenian American policy priorities, we have, in recent years, welcomed support from individual Republican Senators, but not seen heavy lifting from the Senate Republican leadership.

Our community is being asked to help save the Senate’s Republican majority, despite not being able to point to any meaningful policy-related results on Armenian issues. Help me help our party by generating a legislative track record we can all use to credibly and persuasively encourage Armenian American voters to cast their ballots for GOP candidates in Maine and across the nation.


Armen S. Martin


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  1. John Chookasezian said:

    Mr. Armen Martin Esq.
    Dear Mr. Martin,
    Bravo! Bravo! for your outstanding, concise and factual letter sent to US Senate Leader, Mr.Mitch McConnell!
    I also, have been very annoyed and infuriated by our US Governments empty promises, over these many years, concerning the passage of our Armenian Genocide bill; S..Res.150.
    My parents Manase and Arshalous Chookasezian, born in our historic Sepastia (Present day Sivas),survived the inhumane horrors, witnessed the many murders of their family members and suffered extreme deprivation,while escaping throughout Turkey during the Armenian Genocide of 1915-23; that was committed by the Ottoman Turkish Government!
    I hope Ms.Sara Gideon of Maine wins the Republican election! We need many Republicans Armenians in our US Congress!

    Respectfully yours,

    John Chookasezian, Music Director
    Chookasian Armenian Concert Ensemble



    • Raffi said:

      Armenians should learn from the Palestinians and the Vietnamese, never give up, ”NEVER” Armenians survived during the history harsher times and they kept going and going and going, US presidents will come and go, if Armenians stick around in the end they will win.

  3. Peter M said:

    John Chookasezian….Sara Gideon is not a Republican, which was one of Armen Martin’s points. In fact, Sara is the Democratic leader of Maine’s lower house in the state legislature. She is a wife, mother, personable, and a successful politician. She’s half Armenian and half South Asian (Indian), born & raised in Rhode Island. It is going to be very hard for any Armenian American NOT to support her if she is the Democratic nominee. As Armen noted, she could very well be the first Hye in the U.S. Senate. That is a very big deal.