GLENDALE, California– The Armenian American community united in support of Paul Krekorian during the Democratic Primary election for the 43rd California Assembly district on June 6 and drove the candidate to decisively defeat Glendale City Councilman Frank Quintero sending a clear message to Sacramento. Armenian American voters turned out in large numbers to vote for Paul Krekorian in order to also send a message to Councilman Frank Quintero whose campaign and advisors engaged in dirty campaign tactics during the last week.
It is a widely believed the Quintero campaign collaborated with the California Latino Leadership Fund in sending out mass mailers and automated callers to non-Armenian voters labeling Krekorian and his wife, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) and the Armenian community as “terrorists” in a desperate attempt to scare away non-Armenian voters. The unethical and racist tactics had the opposite of the intended effect by galvanizing both Armenian and non-Armenian voters in support of Krekorian.
“Having Paul Krekorian representing the citizens of the 43rd district will usher in a new era of empowerment and vision,” said Leonard Manoukian, chairman of the Armenian National Committee Political Action Committee (ANC-PAC). “As a person who has a strong connection to all parts of the community, we believe Paul will fill a huge void that has existed and be a driving force for building bridges and inspiring positive changes.”
Throughout the campaign for Paul Krekorian, Armenian Americans volunteered in record numbers, including on the day of the election where volunteers helped get out the vote, assisted at polling stations with translating while also monitoring and reporting problems and irregularities that occur during every election. During the weeks leading up to the election the local ANCs mounted an unprecedented voter education and get-out-the-vote campaign informing large numbers of voters of the issues at stake and getting people to vote.
“If it wasn’t clear before, we hope it is now,” said Stepan Boyajian from the Burbank ANC. “The Armenian American community’s voice will be heard and we will have our rightful seat at the table.” Local ANCs who represent different parts of the 43rd Assembly district led community-wide efforts in support of Krekorian that made the difference.
“This was a historic victory for the Armenian community and all Americans who care about justice and preserving the democratic process. It was a victory of hope over hatred, optimism over cynicism, common vision over ethnic division,” said Paul Krekorian. “I am grateful by the outpouring of support from my fellow Armenian Americans and non-Armenians alike. The overall community of the 43rd district came together to reject the politics of hate and division instead favoring respect, understanding and unity, that should be an inspiration for everyone.” Unofficial results show Krekorian with 56.6% of the votes to Quintero’s 43.4%, with 100 percent of precincts reporting; these figures do not yet include provisional and absentee ballots which are still being counted. While the 43rd California Assembly seat has historically been a democratic seat, Krekorian, as the democratic candidate will face Republican candidate Michael Agbaba in November’s general election.