GLENDALE–The Armenian National Committee-Political Action Committee Thursday released its first set of endorsemen’s for the November 3 General Elections.
These initial ANC-PAC endorsemen’s cover the races for the California State Senate and Assembly. The decisions are based upon the support the candidates have demonstrated for issues of concern to the Armenian American community and the potential to deliver on pledges to assist Armenian Americans once elected to office.
The ANC-PAC does not endorse in every race and may–after meeting with more candidates for seats in the California state legislature–add to the present list of endorsemen’s.
The final list of all endorsemen’s and updates will appear in a special election day supplement of the Asbarez later this month.
California State Senate: Since the term for office of the California State Senate is four years–many incumbent members of the State Senate–including several strong supporters of the Armenian American community such as State Senator Adam Schiff of Glendale–Burbank and Pasadena–are not up for re-election in 1998.
District 6 Chris Quackenbush-Republican
Profile of District and Candidate: This district includes Sacramento and smaller outlying suburbs. One of several state candidates of Armenian heritage vying for office this year–Quackenbush–whose husband is California State Insurance Commissioner–Charles Quackenbush–has demonstrated a deep sense of understanding of issues impacting the Armenian American community and vows to be a vocal advocate for the Armenian American community once elected to office.
District 8 Jackie Speier-Democrat
Profile of District and Candidate: California’s 8th Senate District includes the western portion of San Francisco and part of San Mateo County–south of San Francisco. Those familiar with California politics remember Armenian American Jackie Speier for her strong presence as a member of the California State Assembly for almost a decade–during the late 1980 and early 1990’s. She was instrumental in pushing the California Department of Education to adopt a project that authorized the creation of an Armenian Genocide video for instructional use in California’s public school. During a meeting with the Bay Area Armenian National Committee in the spring of 1998–Speier also expressed interest in exploring avenues to expand economic relations between the State of California and Armenia . Upon her return to Sacramento–Jackie Speier has pledged to continue advancing Armenian issues in California State Legislature.
District 14 Charles Poochigian-Republican
Profile of District and Candidate: District 14 includes Fresno and the southern portion of San Joaquin Valley. Poochigian is widely respected by his colleagues for his intelligence–effectiveness and courteous demeanor. Poochigian is quite simply one of the most articulate and influential advocates of Armenian American issues in California politics.
California State Assembly: Like Members of Congress–the term for Members of the California State Assembly is two years and all district races will appear on the ballot on Tuesday–November 3.
District 12 Kevin Shelly-Democrat
Profile of District and Candidate: The 12th District occupies the west half of San Francisco. During the past year–Kevin Shelly assisted the Armenian American community in finalizing the purchase of the Mount Davidson Cross in San Francisco which–during every April 24th ceremonial event–will be a gathering point for Bay Area Armenian Americans to jointly remember the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide.
District 40 Robert Hertzberg-Democrat
Profile of District and Candidate: The 40th District is home to tens of thousands of Armenian Americans and includes substantial portions of Van Nuys–North Hollywood and Studio City. Robert Hertzberg has quickly established himself as a dynamic legislator in Sacramento–quickly rising to positions of prominence and influence. Hertzberg possesses a great understanding and appreciation for the concerns of his Armenian American constituents and has taken on an increasingly proactive position in advocating for issues impacting the Armenian American community.
District 43 Scott Wildman-Democrat
Profile of District and Candidate: The 43rd District has almost as many Armenian American residents as any legislative district in the United States. The district includes Glendale–Burbank–Los Feliz–parts of Hollywood–La Crescenta and other surrounding towns. Since his election two years ago–the Armenian American community has seldom seen as strong and vocal an advocate as Scott Wildman. He has participated in practically every important Armenian community event in his district–including marching with the Armenian youth on April 24th in front of the Turkish Consulate or privately meeting with the Armenian President and first lady to exchange ideas on ways to help the Armenia’s in his district or the people of Armenia.
District 44 Jack Scott-Democrat
Profile of District and Candidate: The 44th District includes Pasadena and La Canada–Sunland-Tujunga and parts of Los Angeles–home to a tens of thousands of Armenian Americans. Since his days as head of Pasadena City College–Jack Scott has always made time to meet with the Armenian National Committee-Pasadena representatives to explore ways of addressing the needs of the Armenian American youth. Since his election in 1996–Scott has always stood firm in support of issues impacting his Armenian American constituents.
District 45 Antonio Villaraigosa-Democrat
Profile of District and Candidate: The 45th District includes large portions of East Los Angeles as well as parts of Hollywood. The Speaker of the State Assembly–Antonio Villaraigosa has–since his election in 1994–always made time to meet his Armenian constituents and offer his steadfast assistance in addressing concerns of the community. Villaraigosa is extremely effective in forming coalitions among his diverse ethnic constituencies and–despite the arduous responsibilities as the leader of the State Assembly–manages to make time to offer his influential support for initiatives impacting the community.
District 74 Howard Kaloogian-Republican
Profile of District and Candidate: District 74–located in San Diego County–includes the cities of Encinitas–Del Mar and Escondido. Another vocal member of the Armenian American contingent in Sacramento–Howard Kaloogian can always be counted on to convincingly defend the interests of the Armenian American community as evidenced by his passionate and intelligent rebuttal to Assemblywoman Diane Martinez’ rambling–error ridden defense of Turkish policies towards the Armenian Genocide during a 1996 Armenian Genocide commemorative remembrance in the State Assembly. Kaloogian remains one of the best informed and convincing state legislators on Armenian issues. Next Week: ANC-PAC Endorsemen’s – Part II: California’s Constitutional Offices and Congressional Delegation