Campaign Scores Decisive Victory by an Overwhelming 2-1 Margin
GLENDALE–Ardashes "Ardy" Kassakhian was elected this week as the next Glendale City Clerk with 6,244 votes–a decisive 2-1 margin in a field of nine candidates. Kassakhian is the first city clerk to obtain the office by election since 1929. For the previous 75 years–the position has been filled by City Council appointmen’s because clerks would resign mid-term.
The resignation of the previous city clerk–Doris Twedt–triggered an election for the position which attracted nine candidates–including four Armenian Americans. While several of the Armenian candidates were very visible during the campaign process–in the end Kassakhian’s closest challengers were George McCullough with 3,739 votes and Kathryn Van Houten with 3,517 votes. Paulette Mardikian–who had raised $90,000–more than any of the other candidates–came in a distant fourth place with 3,115 votes. In the final analysis–Kassakhian was able to attract Armenian and non-Armenian votes which propelled him to victory.
"Through their votes–the citizens of Glendale have spoken and I am honored by the confidence they have shown in me," said Ardashes Kassakhian. "As a public servant and the new Glendale City Clerk–my pledge to all citizens is that I will be a fair–impartial and proactive clerk–upholding the integrity of the office through the highest professional standards and conduct that people expect from their city government. I consider the clerk’s office the gateway for the public to their city government and that is a serious responsibility that I am eager to take on."
Kassakhian ran on a three-pronged platform including creating accessibility and accountability by ensuring that city information is readily available in a timely manner and bringing a positive customer service philosophy to the office. He also promised to improve voter outreach and education with an eye toward increasing voter participation. Kassakhian was the first candidate to offer the idea of recruiting high school and college students to work at polls and to create a community voter outreach committee–comprised of community groups–to raise voter awareness and participation in all segmen’s of the Glendale community. His third campaign issue was to look for ways to incorporate new technologies to make the clerk’s office more effective by improving the Clerk’s website; utilizing electronic forms; disseminating electronic newsletters and bulletins; and adopting digital document management technologies.
"Ardashes was clearly the most qualified Armenian American candidate in the field and in the end also demonstrated that he had the best ideas and skills amongst all the candidates," said Zanku Armenian–senior campaign advisor. "Ardy is very talented and ran the best campaign which allowed him to reach more people and all parts of the Glendale community with his innovative ideas and messages. He is going to make an excellent clerk for all Glendale citizens."
Kassakhian was endorsed by many other public officials–which helped confirm his qualifications among voters. Endorsemen’s included Congressman Adam Schiff–Glendale City Councilmember Rafi Manoukian–LA County Sheriff Lee Baca–LA City Councilmember and Mayoral candidate Antonio Villaraigosa–LA City Councilmember Eric Garcetti–California State Senator Jack Scott–California State Board of Equalization Chair John Chiang–Glendale Community College Board member Victor King–Glendale Chapter of the California School Employees Association–Teamsters Joint Council 42 and many others.
Kassakhian will be sworn into office on Monday–April 11 at 8:00 p.m. at Glendale City Hall.