TORRANCE—The Armenian National Committee of America, South Bay chapter and the Armenian National Committee of America, Western Region, met with two of the leading candidates in the Congressional race to succeed genocide denier, and former Congresswoman, Jane Harman. In what is building up to be a close race between Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn and California Secretary of State Debra Bowen, the Armenian vote in the South Bay may serve as the swing vote in the election.
A third candidate, Marcy Winograd, who ran against Harman the last time the latter was up for reelection, has also regularly communicated with the Armenian community in the South Bay. A strong supporter of Armenian issues in the past, Winograd has continued to be a supporter, albeit in a much more crowded field.
“Our community of activists in the South Bay was deeply concerned by Jane Harman’s equivocation on the Armenian Genocide, especially given the great deal of support we had provided to her in the past. This is an opportunity where the 36th Congressional district has an opportunity to gain the moral high ground and courage absent during the last seat holder’s tenure,” said ANCA-WR Chairman Andrew Kzirian.
He continued, “Janice Hahn, Debra Bowen, and Marcy Winograd have been friends of the community in the past. Nevertheless, our endorsement will go to the candidate whom we believe will not only be a friend, but a champion for our issues once they are elected.”
The first meeting, with Councilwoman Hahn, was held in the Armenian Center in Lomita, with activists from throughout the South Bay. The meeting with Secretary of State Bowen took place at her campaign headquarters in Torrance. Winograd has remained in constant communication with the South Bay ANCA.
All candidates expressed a strong desire to work with the Armenian American community to advance important issues such as affirmation of the Armenian Genocide, U.S. – Armenia trade relations, and the right to self-determination of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh.
“Our community is looking for an honest and courageous representative who will face down threats from Turkey and stand up for issues that will impact Armenian Americans in the United States. We have a strong, active, and successful community here and the candidates who we met with seem to realize that,” said activist Azniv Goenjian, who is a resident of Redondo Beach and was present during the meetings with both Hahn and Bowen.
The ANCA will release its endorsement for the 36th Congressional seat in the coming week.
The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.