Months of intensive voter registration efforts and grassroots campaigning contributed to significant Congressional victories for pro-Armenian American issues candidates during Tuesday’s mid-term elections, with over 95% of Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) endorsed candidates being elected to office. Top winners included Bob Dold (R-IL), a former Republican Vice-Chairman of the Congressional Armenian Caucus, who won one of the most closely contested U.S. House races in the country.
“It’s always gratifying for the ANCA to empower Armenian American voters, especially during highly competitive election seasons like this, when our efforts contribute meaningfully to the victory of so many Congressional friends,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. “While we’re certainly proud that our nation-wide electoral participation this season hit an all-time high-water mark, we’re already planning to top this unprecedented effort during the coming 2016 election cycle.
Among other wins in competitive races were those by Congressman Michael Grimm (R-NY), the current Co-Chairman of the Armenian Caucus, who won by 13% in a high profile campaign; and David Valadao (R-CA), the co-author of the Armenian Genocide Truth and Justice Resolution, with a convincing 18 point victory in a race that was rated a toss-up earlier in the election cycle. Congressman Jim Costa’s (D-CA) race for reelection was still too close to call, as were those contested by three other candidates endorsed by the ANCA: Mike Honda (D-CA), Peter Aguilar (D-CA), and Raul Ruiz (D-CA).
Other high-profile victories by ANCA-endorsed candidates included those by David Brat (R-VA), who will take the Richmond U.S. House seat formerly held by Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). U.S. Representative Gary Peters (D-MI), an ANCA-backed candidate, won a seat in the Senate.
Both Americans of Armenian heritage who serve in the U.S. Congress, Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Jackie Speier (D-CA), won reelection, with a host of Armenian American state and local candidates following suit, including: Assemblymembers Adrin Nazarian and Katcho Achadjian, who won reelection to the California State Assembly; Assemblymember Katherine Kazarian who won reelection in Rhode Island; Scott Avedisian who was re-elected Mayor of Warwick, RI; and Richelle Noroyan, who secured a seat on the Santa Cruz, CA City Council.
An ANCA Election Day on-line poll found that 73% of respondents believe that Armenian American voters are willing to cross U.S. party lines to support pro-Armenian candidates, results that are consistent with feedback from previous election cycles.