CAMBRIDGE, N.Y.—Don Boyajian, a third-generation Armenian American, has announced his candidacy for New York’s 21st Congressional District, representing the Adirondack Mountains and Thousand Islands regions of the Empire State.
If elected, he would be the third U.S. Representative of Armenian heritage serving in the U.S. House, joining Congresswoman Anna Eshooo (D-Calif.) and Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-Calif).
The grandchild of Armenian immigrants from Aintab, on his father’s side, and Palu, on his mother’s side, Don represents the third generation in his family to live and work in the U.S. During the Armenian Genocide era, his father’s family settled in Saratoga County, N.Y., where they operated a sheep farm, and his mother’s family put down roots in Providence, R.I.
He and his family are active in St. Peter Armenian Apostolic Church, where his mother recently received the Women’s Guild’s Woman of the Year Award.
Professionally, Don is an environmental and municipal attorney at Dreyer Boyajian LLP, a firm his father co-founded. Don graduated from Colgate University and Cornell Law School, where he clerked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office (NDNY), New York Office of the Attorney General (Environmental Protection Bureau), and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Don also served as a Legislative Aide in the U.S. Congress, where he focused on agriculture, natural resources, and energy policy.
Don, a Democrat, will face a primary election to win his party’s nomination, and then challenge incumbent Republican Elise Stefanik, who has no meaningful record of support for Armenian-American issues.