ANC activist Steve Samuelian wins Republican nomination in 29th Assembly District.
LOS ANGELES–Candidates and ballot measures endorsed by local Armenian National Committee chapters in the California March Primary election cycle registered major victories–once again catapulting the Armenian American electorate into the spotlight as a solid political force.
Long-time ANC Central Valley activist and Republican leader Steve Samuelian–beat his opponent Larry Willey for the Republican nomination in the 29th Assembly District with a final count of 54.21% of the votes. This hotly contested race–which attracted much attention from pundits and political observers nationwide–activated the Armenian American community of the Central Valley–as well as other areas of California. Several fund-raisers were held in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Area by local ANC chapters–and Armenian Americans from across the State flocked to Samuelian’s headquarters in Fresno to assist in the campaign.
Hygo Ohannessian–Chairwoman of the ANC Central California Chapter–and fellow ANC members were present along with members of the Fresno Armenian Community. Ohannessian said "?On behalf of the Armenian National Committee–we congratulate Steve and Houry. He is a hard worker–and I know he will do a great job in representing the 29th District. He will work hard on issues important to the Armenian American community. Our committee will work hard to ensure he wins the election in November."
In other races–California State Attorney General Bill Lockyer–who was honored in 2001 as the ANCA-WR Man of the Year–won his party’s nomination in his bid for reelection to the State’s top law enforcement job. Lockyer–who has been a long-time supporter of Armenian American issues–played an integral role in a number of Armenian Genocide affirmation activities.
In municipal races–the contest in Los Angeles’ 2nd City Council District resulted in a narrow victory for ANC-endorsed candidate Wendy Greuel. ANC-East San Fernando Valley and LaCrescenta/Foothills chapters worked around the clock in this race–providing volunteers–phone bank sites–as well as in kind assistance. Greuel garnered the ANC endorsement based on her record and commitment to Armenian American issues and promise for broader outreach to the growing Armenian communities of Sunland–Tujunga–as well as Eastern San Fernando Valley.
At the same time–in neighboring Glendale–voters approved the Glendale Community College Proposition G–a bond measure–proceeds of which will be used to make capital improvemen’s at the College’s many facilities–serving a cross section of the Glendale community. Measure G–which was approved by a narrow margin of victory–was endorsed by the ANC-Glendale Chapter–which provided the effort with volunteers–in kind services–as well as a broad reach into the Armenian American community via the Armenian Cable Television.
Both the Los Angeles City Council race and the Glendale Community College Measure G contest were won by narrow margins–highlighting the importance of the Armenian American vote in each community. Greuel beat her opponent Tony Cardenas with less than 1 % of the vote. The final count in that race is 13,224 votes cast for Greuel and 13,169 for Cardenas.
The race for California’s 58th State Assembly District’s Democratic nomination was won by Ron Calderon–who garnered 46.17 percent of the vote–while ANC-endorsed candidate Charles Fuentes garnered 40.46 percent of the vote. Fuentes–who as been a long-time friend of the Armenian American community–will resume his duties as Chief of Staff of Rep. Grace Napolitano.
"The great victories of these ANC-endorsed candidates and measures is testament to our organization’s commitment to civic life and our community’s growth in public life," explained ANC-PAC officer Ardashes Kassakhian. "From Fresno to Glendale and from local to State-wide races–the Armenian American vote made a great difference in the outcome."