LAS VEGAS–The strong growth of the Armenian American community in Nevada will be a factor in the upcoming Presidential primary slated for January 19. In a new development this Presidential election cycle, both the Republican and Democratic Party primaries have been moved up the date of the Nevada primary, bringing more attention and importance to the Silver State’s upcoming primary.
A recent article in the Las Vegas Review Journal summed up the increased relevance of Nevada in picking the next president. "The eyes of the nation will be on the Silver State’s voters as never before in 2008, and those seeking the presidency of the United States will surely be spending ample time in Nevada getting out their message and securing support," remarked Las Vegas area Congresswoman Shelly Berkley (D-NV).
Since 1990, Nevada’s population and economy has grown at a remarkable pace, as the state is the second fast growing in the country behind only Arizona. The 2006 census estimate puts the state’s population at approximately 2.5 million, a figure that has grown by more than 20% since 2000. The state’s largest Armenian American advocacy group, the Armenian National Committee of Nevada (Nevada ANC), estimates that the Armenian community has increased five-fold over the last decade, with over 10,000 Armenian Americans now residing in the state.
"Our community has continued to grow at a tremendous pace since the last the presidential election in 2004," stated Nevada ANC Chairperson Ara Shirinian. "Armenian Americans will play an important role in the upcoming presidential primary on January 19th. Clearly, we are all watching the presidential race closely," he added.
Nevada is home to among the strongest supporters of Armenian American issues in the U.S. Congress. U.S. Senators John Ensign (R-NV) and Harry Reid (D-NV; Senate Majority leader) are currently cosponsors of the Armenian Genocide resolution (S. Res. 106), in addition to U.S. Representatives Shelley Berkley (D-NV-01) and Jon Porter (R-NV-03) who have cosponsored H. Res. 106.
"Armenian-Americans throughout the United States are prepared to vote in this pivotal and heated race," remarked ANCA-WR Executive Director, Andrew Kzirian. "The outcome of the upcoming presidential election will depend on mobilizing voters who care deeply about specific issues that affect their communities," he added.