The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) on Friday released its 2010 endorsements, throwing the political and electoral strength of the Armenian American community behind House and Senate candidates from across more than thirty states that have demonstrated a proven track record of support on issues of special concern to Armenian Americans.
Below are profiles of the candidates with the strongest track-record on issues important to Armenian-Americans.
Harry Reid (D-NV): ANCA Rating: A+
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been outspoken in his support for Armenian American concerns, including Armenian Genocide affirmation and relaying community concerns about the Turkey-Armenia Protocols to Secretary Clinton. Most recently, the Majority Leader wrote a letter to the State Department concerning Matthew Bryza’s flawed nomination to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan, noting numerous questions had been raised during his confirmation hearing, from conflict of interest issues to extended silence in the face of Azerbaijan’s destruction of the Djulfa Armenian cemetery.
Mark Kirk (R-IL-10) – ANCA Rating: A+
Rep. Kirk, who currently is finishing his 5th term in the House of Representatives, has been one of the strongest supporters of Armenian American concerns and has developed a strong relationship with the ANCA of Illinois. He is the Co-chair of the Congressional Armenian Caucus and serves on the powerful House Appropriations Subcommittee on State – Foreign Operations, where he has been a tireless advocate for increased U.S. aid to Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.
Jerry McNerney (D-CA-11) – ANCA Rating: B+
A two term member of the House, Rep. McNerney has, once again, cosponsored the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.252) and cosigned the July 2009 letter to Pres. Obama expressing concerns about the flawed Turkey-Armenia Roadmap agreement.
Howard Berman (D-CA-28) – ANCA Rating: A+
A perennial supporter of Armenian American concerns, Chairman Howard Berman championed passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution in the House Foreign Affairs Committee, speaking passionately about the importance U.S. affirmation of this crime against humanity. For his consistent leadership, the ANCA Western Region honored Chairman Berman as their 2010 “Man of the Year.”
Brad Sherman (D-CA-27) – ANCA Rating: A+
An eloquent and ardent leader on Armenian American concerns, Rep. Sherman, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, cast a critical vote for passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution in Committee. He has consistently supported expanded U.S. assistance to Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh, defending Artsakh’s right to self-determination.
Dan Lungren (R-CA-3) – ANCA Rating: B+
A perennial supporter of Armenian Genocide legislation, Rep. Lungren is a cosponsor of H.Res.252 and expressed concerns about the Turkey-Armenia Roadmap by cosigning a letter to President Obama.
Ed Royce (R-CA-40) – ANCA Rating: A+
An outspoken advocate of Armenian Genocide affirmation, Rep. Royce cast a critical vote to secure passage of H.Res.252 in the House Foreign Affaris Committee. He has been a perennial participant in the Capitol Hill Observance of the Armenian Genocide.
Anna Eshoo (D-CA-14) – ANCA Rating: A
Of Armenian and Assyrian ancestry, Rep. Eshoo knows of the devastating effects of the Genocide and Turkey’s denial of this crime. She has spoken eloquently about the importance of U.S. affirmation of this crime against humanity at annual Capitol Hill Armenian Genocide observances.
Jackie Speier (D-CA-12) – ANCA Rating: A
A two-term House member, Rep. Speier, who along with Rep. Eshoo is of Armenian ancestry, has been outspoken on Armenian Genocide affirmation issues, joining fellow Members of Congress at the annual Armenian Genocide Observance on Capitol Hill. She has also consistently called for expanded U.S. assistance to Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.
Joe Baca (D-CA-43) – ANCA Rating: A
A Member of the Congressional Armenian Caucus, Rep. Baca has consistently urged increased U.S. assistance to Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh and has cosponsored the Armenian Genenocide Resolution (H.Res.252).
Jim Costa (D-CA-29) – ANCA Rating: A+
Consistently receiving the highest rating of “A+” from the ANCA, Central Valley’s Rep. Costa cast a key vote in support of House Foreign Affairs Committee passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution and spoken annually to mark this crime against humanity. Most recently, Rep. Costa urged the Obama Administration to take advantage of the hold placed by Sen. Boxer on the Matthew Bryza nomination to withdraw the flawed candidate and present an Ambassador designate who better represents U.S. interests.
Loretta Sanchez (D-CA-47) – ANCA Rating: A
A member of the Congressional Armenian Caucus, Rep. Sanchez has consistently urged expanded U.S. assistance to Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh and Armenian Genocide affirmation. She has also been outspoken in urging Turkey end its occupation of Cyprus, offering remarks on the House floor marking the 36th anniversary of the Turkish invasion.
Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ-8) – ANCA Rating: A-
A member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Giffords once again cast a key vote in support of Committee passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution in March 2010.
Dina Titus (D-NV-3): ANCA Rating: A-
A first term member of the House, Rep. Titus cosponsored the Armenian Genocide Resolution and joined House colleagues at the 2009 Capitol Hill Observance of the Armenian Genocide. She also cosigned a letter to President Obama expressing concern about the 2009 Turkey-Armenia Roadmap Agreement.
Mary Bono Mack (R-CA-45): ANCA Rating: B-
Rep. Bono Mack continued her support for Armenian Genocide affirmation efforts in the 111th Congress, cosponsoring the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.252).