LOS ANGELES–The Armenian National Committee – Political Action Committee (ANC-PAC) announced today that over 90 percent of the candidates it had endorsed for state and federal elections–were victorious after the final votes were tallied in the November 5th 2002–Mid-Term elections. The ANC PAC along with other groups worked hard to ensure a heavy Armenian-American voter turnout. The efforts to encourage Armenia’s to vote paid off in the California elections in particular where ANC PAC endorsed incumbent–Governor Gray Davis–narrowly defeated his Republican opponent–businessman Bill Simon.
Governor Davis was reelected to serve another four-year term as Governor of California. A consistent supporter of Armenian-American issues–Governor Davis most recently signed legislation–backed by the ANC that will create a California Trade Office in Yerevan–Armenia. At a recent fund-raiser reception with Armenian-American community leaders–organized by the ANC-PAC–the Governor pledged his unwavering support to making the trade office a success–and pledged to continue to work with the Armenian National Committee to ensure that the project is up and running by early 2003.
Other ANC-PAC endorsed candidates vying for a number of statewide offices were also victorious. Among these candidates was Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante–Assemblymember Kevin Shelley for Secretary of State–State Treasurer Phil Angelides–and John Garamendi for Insurance Commissioner. Two years ago–State Treasurer Angelides took the initiative to halt all California State Treasury investment in the Republic of Turkey because of that regimes abysmal human rights record. All of the candidates filled out ANC PAC questionnaires and many met with ANC representatives prior to the election to discuss Armenian-American issues. Insurance Commissioner-elect Garamendi made a firm commitment of support to the Armenian National Committee-WR during a meeting in October when discussing the issue of insurance claims for survivors of the Armenian Genocide who’s life-insurance policy-holding relatives were denied their insurance claims. Mr. Garamendi promised that the full force and power of the California Department of Insurance would be brought to bear against all insurance companies who continue to stonewall the payment of Genocide Era life insurance claims.
On election night as the final votes were being tallied ANC-WR Chairman Steven J. Dadaian–Esq. stated "We as a community can feel proud that our votes have been counted. The ANC-PAC’s hard work throughout the State of California in guiding California’s 500,000 strong Armenian-American community has paid off. Our elected representatives know who we are and what issues count most to us. At the end of the day–participating in the democratic process and ensuring that our voice is heard is what our organization is all about!"
Please see the attached list for a full listing of candidates who were elected or reelected to statewide office. Included is also the percentage of votes by which they secured their victory.
Issues that affected the decisions facing theArmenian-American community in this mi term election ranged from federal assistance and support for Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh in Congress down to local level community programs and inclusiveness and participation in municipal bodies. In Los Angeles–home of the largest Armenian Diaspora community in the United States–Armenian-Americans were faced with the potential split in the City of Los Angeles as the Valley and Hollywood portions both sought to secede from the City of LA Measures F and H were placed on the November ballot with the hopes of achieving Valley independence. After meetings with Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn and other Los Angeles City staff–Armenian American community leaders and the Armenian National Committee joined the effort to keep Los Angeles united and were instrumental in ensuring that measures F and H did not pass. Both measures failed to secure a majority and were defeated by an overwhelming margin.
ANC-PAC endorsed a number of Members of Congress as well–many of who received the Grade of "A" or "A+" from the ANCA Congressional Report Card issued several weeks ago. Many of these members were currently on the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues. The ANCA-WR has worked closely with the following members of the House to secure aid for Armenian and Nagorno Karabagh and ensure proper recognition of the Armenian Genocide. All the endorsed candidates for the House of Representatives were able to win reelection. Among the outstanding Members of
Congress endorsed by ANC-PAC were San Francisco area Representative Nancy Pelosi – who was recently nominated to be the new House Minority Leader–replacing Rep. Richard Gephart (D-MO). Other prominent and active members endorsed by the ANC PAC who were victorious on election night were Glendale area Representative Adam Schiff and from the San Joaquin Valley Representative George Radanovich. In the Senate–ANC-PAC endorsees included Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Larry Craig (R-ID)–among others. A full listing of ANC-PAC endorsed candidates appear in the attached list along with the percentage of votes by which they won reelection or were elected to office.
ANC-PAC also endorsed candidates running for the State Assembly and State Senate. Former Central California ANC Board member and activist–Republican Steve Samuelian made history as one of the youngest Armenian-Americans ever elected to the State Assembly. Assemblymember-elect Steve Samuelian will represent the 29th State Assembly district in the Fresno area. Also joining Samuelian in the State Assembly is Armenian-American farmer/businessman Greg Aghazarian who will represent the area of Turloc–California.
"This is the greatest number of Armenian-Americans to ever serve in the State Legislature at any time and we are excited about the potential of what we can do as a community," stated Ardashes Kassakhian–Director of the ANC PAC. "We hope this trend will continue. We look forward to not only Armenian-Americans turning out to support candidates who understand and support our issues but of Armenian-Americans directly participating in the political process by accepting the leadership roles in our communities." 2002 Election Results – ANC PAC Endorsed Candidates
The Armenian National Committee – Political Actions Committee (ANC-PAC) thanks every registered Armenian-American voter who cast their vote for the following individuals on election day–ensuring a stronger and unified voice for the Armenian Cause. The following incumbents and candidates won their elections thanks to the Armenian community’s support. The ANC PAC will continue to work with these elected officials to further the Armenian Cause and will ensure that they remain committed to the concerns of the Armenian-American community and serving the general public’s interest.
CALIFORNIA STATE OFFICES:
Governor: Gray Davis – 47.4%
Lt. Governor: Cruz M. Bustamante – 49.5%
Secretary of State: Kevin Shelley – 46.4%
Controller: Open Endorsement – Steve Westly and Tom McClintock – 45.4%
Treasurer: Phil Angelides – 49.4%
Attorney General: Bill Lockyer – 51.4%
Insurance Commissioner: John Garamendi – 46.5%
Board of Equalization: John Chiang – 63.5%
Superintendent of Public Instruction: Jack O’Connell – 61.6%
CALIFORNIA STATE SENATE:
8th District in the San Mateo Area – Jackie Speier – 78.2%
14th District in the San Joaquin Valley – Chuck Poochigian – 100%
20th District in the San Fernando Valley – Richard Alarcon – 100%
CALIFORNIA STATE ASSEMBLY:
District 12 in San Francisco: – Leland Yee 77.8%
District 21 in the San Mateo Area: – Joe Simitian – 60.6%
District 26 of the San Joaquin and Stanislus Counties: – Greg Aghazarian – 57.0%
District 29:- Steve Samuelian – 60.9%
District 31: Sarah Reyes – 100%
District 43: Dario Frommer – 60.9%
District 44: Carol Liu – 60.2%
District 45: Jackie Goldberg – 85.6%
District 47: Herb Wesson–Speaker of the State Assembly – 81.9%
District 55: Jenny Oropeza – 80.5% LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT:
Office 67 – Paul Bacigalupo – 59.79%
Office 100 – Richard Walmark – 51.65%
SPECIAL LOS ANGELES REORGANIZATION MEASURES:
Measure "F" (Valley Secession) – VOTE NO –68.54%
Measure "H" (Hollywood Secession) – VOTE NO – 61.42%