BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
THIS: 43rd Assembly District Special Election of April 13, 2010.
WE: The Armenian Community, in the 43rd and beyond.
WIN: Electing Nayiri Nahabedian.
The simple part is this. The 43rd AD is widely recognized as “the Armenian District”, just as others are known for being Latino or Asian or Black or whatever. Despite this, Armenians constitute only 16% of registered voters in the district. But we are also among the most highly motivated. The pride and interest and energy and engagement is palpable especially among relatively new voters and the elderly. So with this, any Armenian candidate stands a good chance at election.
Of course, to strengthen our position, new voters must be registered and existing ones motivated to cast their ballots. Since this is an off-cycle, special, election, experience shows turnouts tend to be low. So if our community is excited, we can truly serve as an example of good citizenship and participation. Fortunately, the ANC-PAC has undertaken a voter registration effort as part of its campaign efforts. Separately, the ANC-Burbank long-planned voter registration drive also commenced about a month ago. The campaign is also encountering registering new voters. Very soon get-out-the-vote efforts will commence.
All this is the “simple math”. The “complex math” is provided courtesy of a second Armenian entering this race.
Unfortunately, this candidate, Chahe Keuroghelian, has no chance of winning as explained very well in a piece written by Berdj Karapetian last week. It is unfortunate he has chosen to enter the fray despite his experience in the Glendale municipal elections last year. In that race, other Armenian candidates who had no chance of winning put forth their names and probably undercut Chahe’s chances of winning.
Things get even messier. This special election is wide open and can be won only by getting more than 50% of the vote, irrespective of party affiliation. But, because there are four candidates, it is improbable that any one will walk away with the prize on April 13. There will be a runoof election on June 8 in which the highest Democratic vote-getter (out of three- Nayiri, Chahe, and Mike Gatto) will go up against the Republican standard bearer, Sunder Ramani, who, being the lone entry from his party, is guaranteed a spot in June.
But there’s another twist, Sunder is a relatively moderate Republican and Mike Gatto falls, politically-ideologically, between Sunder and Nayiri. Thus, some Democrats, especially in Burbank where Sunder has an extensive record of community service, will end up voting for Sunder. Some of the damage caused by the split Armenian vote will thus be attenuated.
Aren’t you glad you took that calculus class?
But we can make this simple. Please, be sure to vote. Vote early by mail. Vote in person on Election Day. Do whichever’s easier. But please do vote. And, vote for the candidate that will do us proud with her record of community service— in and out of the Armenian community. Vote for Nayiri Nahabedian.
If you need assistance of any sort, want to register, or know someone who isn’t yet registered, contact the ANC-PAC or the Nahabedian campaign.