LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – The explosive growth of the Armenian American community in Nevada may be the deciding factor in the upcoming Presidential elections in November as both President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry battle it out on the road to the White House. Along with swing states like New Hampshire, New Mexico, Michigan and Iowa–Nevada’s five electoral votes are coveted by the Presidential candidates, in a race that many political observers and pundits view as “razor close.”
Since 1990, Nevada’s population and economy has grown at a torrid pace, adding roughly 4,700 residents a month, according to an article which appeared in The Los Angeles Times on May 6, 2004 by journalist Mark Barabak. The author noted that Nevada’s population now exceeds 2.2 million–close to double the figure of 14 years ago. The state’s largest Armenian American advocacy group–the Armenian National Committee of Nevada (ANCN)–estimates that the Armenian community has increased five-fold over the last decade. The ANCN estimates that over 8,000 Armenian Americans now call Nevada home.
“The quick growth of our community in Nevada is a sign of changing times and will result in a more prominent role for Armenian American voters in this state,” remarked ANCN Chairman Hriyr Dadaian. “We already have great relationships with Senator Ensign, Congresswoman Shelley Berkley and a number of other public officials and we look forward to expanding our circle of friends. Like everyone else here, we are watching the Presidential election very closely,” Dadaian added. Last month the ANCN honored Senator John Ensign (R-NV) as its “Man of the Year” for introducing legislation that marked the 15th anniversary of the official US adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocides. Senator Ensign co-authored Senate Resolution 164 with Senator Corzine (D-NJ) and has 39 co-sponsors, well over a third of the Senate. “The outcome of the upcoming Presidential election is going to come down to a few key states,” speculated ANCA-WR Executive Director, Ardashes Kassakhian. “And we are working on mobilizing all Armenian-Americans throughout the United States to ensure double the voter turnout from four years ago.”
The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.