GLENDALE—According to election results, a dominating majority of the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region endorsed candidates won election to the U.S. Senate and House as well as state level offices Tuesday, capping off months of sustained effort registering voters, signing up volunteers, organizing communities, and raising funds for supportive candidates from both parties and around the country.
In California, longtime supporter of the Armenian community Gavin Newsom (D) was elected as governor while California Senator and former Senate Pro-Tem Kevin de León (D) came up short in a close race for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Dianne Feinstein (D). For California’s other executive offices, Eleni Kounalakis (D) was elected as Lt. Governor, Alex Padilla as Secretary of State (D), Betty Yee (D) as State Controller, Fiona Ma (D) as State Treasurer and Ricardo Lara (D) as Insurance Commissioner. All were endorsed by the ANCA-WR and have cultivated close relationships with the Armenian American community.
Meanwhile, Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA), a longtime champion of all aspects of the Armenian Cause, took a commanding victory over challenger Johnny Nalbandian with over 76 percent of the votes. By securing his spot, Congressman Schiff is poised to become the next chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, one of the most powerful positions in Congressional leadership.
Also, in the U.S. House of Representatives, six additional Congressional Armenian Caucus leaders and members Judy Chu (D-CA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Devin Nunes (R-CA), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Jackie Speier (D-CA), and David Valadao (R-CA), were all re-elected and will continue to work with the ANCA-WR on issues important to our community. Both Gabbard and Valadao recently traveled to Armenia and Artsakh. Speier and Eshoo, both of Armenian descent, have also traveled to Armenia in their official capacities. Armenian American Danny Tarkanian (R) ran a spirited campaign, but fell short in his race for a U.S. House seat in Nevada. Young Kim (R-CA) of the 39thDistrict was elected to replace the retiring Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA), who as Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, took decisive steps to advance the Armenian Cause. Turkish Caucus Co-Chairman, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), a perennial obstacle to Congressional commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, was defeated.
In the California state legislature, Andreas Borgeas (R) was elected to the California State Senate to represent District 8 in Central California. Borgeas, an active member of the Fresno community, has travelled to Armenia and Artsakh multiple times where he has participated as an observer the elections in Artsakh. He is also married to an Armenian and is actively engaged with the Armenian community of Fresno. Bob Archuleta (D-CA), a longtime friend to our community, was also elected to the California State Senate with a commanding victory of 65% over Republican challenger Rita Topalian.
In the California State Assembly, Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-CA) of the 63rd District was reelected as well as Majority Floor Leader Ian Calderon (D-CA). Armenian American Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian (D), head of the Armenian Legislative Issues Caucus, was re-elected, along with Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-CA) representing the largest Armenian-American constituency in California. Assemblymembers Evan Low (D-CA) and Autumn Burke (D-CA), both of whom had recently joined the ANC-WR’s Legislative Trip to Armenia, were easily re-elected. Other close friends of the community, including Chris Holden (D-CA), Jesse Gabriel (D-CA), and Luz Rivas (D-CA), also handily won re-election. Elizabeth Warren (D), of Armenian descent, who was running for California’s 76th District came up short.