FRESNO–Armenian Americans throughout Central California welcomed reports published this week in the Fresno Bee that local civic leader Steve Samuelian is being pushed to run for a new Congressional seat that the State legislature may create in the Fresno area–reported the Armenian National Committee of America Western Region.
In an August 11 article–"Valley tries for new seat in Congress," Fresno Bee correspondent John Ellis wrote that–"on the Republican side: Steve Samuelian–local district director for Rep. George Radanovich–is being pushed to run and would be formidable."
Based on the 2000 census–California will gain one seat in the House of Representatives–moving from 52 to 53 Representatives.
The census found that California is home to 33,871,648 residents–a 13.8 percent increase over ten years ago.
The State legislature is currently drawing up new legislative districts–which must be approved by September 1. Governor Gray Davis will then have until September 26 to sign redistricting bills that have passed the legislature.
"Steve is perfectly positioned to run for any new Congressional seat in Central California–said ANCA-Western Region Executive Director Alex Sardar.
"Whether he runs in 2002 or in 2004–Steve can count on an energetic core of devoted activists and a broad base of support from across the Fresno area. He will definitely be the candidate to beat."
Samuelian–who serves as Congressman George Radanovich’s (R-Calif.) District Director–has been recently been discussed as a rising star in Fresno politics and a likely candidate to represent Central California in the US Congress.
He served as Co-Chairman of the Bush 2000 campaign in Central California. In just the past few weeks–Samuelian:
* Received the "Outstanding Achievement" award from the Fresno County United Way for serving as Chairman of the 2000-2001 Leadership Giving campaign which raised a record breaking $200,000 from individuals for the United Way.
* Was re-appointed to the California Republican Party Executive Committee by State GOP Chairman Shawn Steel. This will be his fifth two-year term on that governing body of the State GOP.
* Received the "Chairman’s Appreciation Award" from the Fresno County Republican Central Committee by its Chairwoman Jane Parsons at their June annual dinner in Fresno.
Samuelian has traveled to Armenia twice–first as an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) election observer in 1995 and later–in 1998–as part of a delegation traveling with Congressman Radanovich.
He is active in community and political affairs in the Fresno area including serving on several major non-profit boards as well as on the State Republican Party Executive Committee.
During the 2000 presidential campaign he was the Central California Co-Chairman for Bush-Cheney.
Samuelian–who remains involved in Armenian church and community affairs–lives in Fresno with his wife Houry and newborn son Shant.