ARLINGTON–Armenian American Democrats from throughout Virginia reached out to Democratic presidential hopefuls as the state gears up for the first democratic presidential primary in 16 years–reported the Armenian American Democratic Leadership Council (AADLC.)
Northern Virginia Armenia’s supporting Senator John Kerry gathered at the Firefighter’s Union hall in Fairfax County over the weekend–urging voters to support their candidate in the primary on Tuesday. Similar phone-banking and canvassing efforts had been carried out in the days leading up to the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire primary several weeks ago. Meanwhile–supporters of Sen. Edwards participated in rallies in Richmond and Northern Virginia in the week leading up to the primary.
Several Armenian Americans were among the Virginia Democrats who had the opportunity to hear Senators Kerry and Edwards and Gen. Wesley Clark discuss key state concerns at the annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner–held in Richmond on February 7th.
Each of the four major Democratic Presidential hopefuls–Sen. Kerry–Sen. Edwards–Gen. Clark–and Gov. Dean–has spoken out on Armenian American concerns–specifically citing their support for the proper US recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Senators Kerry and Edwards were among the earliest cosponsors of Genocide legislation (S.Res.164) which commemorates US ratification of the Genocide Convention. In a statement issued in December–Gen. Clark described the horrors of the Armenian deportations and killings–going on to state that "what happened in 1915 was genocide." In a statement released last week–Gov. Dean reminded Armenian Americans of President Bush’s broken pledge to recognize the Genocide–stating that "the President is wrong to abandon his pledge to Armenian Americans. I call upon the Congress to pass the Genocide Resolution."