WASHINGTON, DC – Almost 2-hundred U.S. Congressional candidates have earned 2018 Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) endorsements for their sustained pro-Armenia and Artsakh records of support on ANCA-backed initiatives.
Leading the ANCA’s Senate endorsement list is Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who serves as the Ranking Member of the Foreign Relations Committee. He is the lead author of S.Res.136, which calls on the U.S. to “work toward an equitable, constructive, stable, and durable Armenian-Turkish relationship that includes the full acknowledgment by the Government of the Republic of Turkey of the facts about the Armenian Genocide.” His relentless advocacy for a broad array of pro-Armenian priorities was mostly recently on display during his aggressive questioning of President Trump’s nominee to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan. Across the Senate aisle, the ANCA is endorsing Ted Cruz (R-TX); Senator Cruz cosponsored the Armenian Genocide Resolution (S.Res.136) publicly demanding that Turkey apologize for the May 2017 attack by Erdogan bodyguards against Armenian and Kurdish American protesters in Washington, D.C., and repeatedly calling upon Turkey to release unjustly jailed pastor Andrew Brunson.
Congresswoman Kathryn Clark (D-MA), a champion of pro-Armenia environmental legislation and Congressman David Valadao (R-CA) representing the Central Valley who spearheaded renewed U.S. appropriations for Artsakh de-mining are also among the 179 candidates.
From New Jersey, there is Congressional Armenian Caucus founder and Co-Chair Frank Pallone, a Democrat who traveled to Artsakh last year and, upon his return, introduced the U.S.-Artsakh Travel and Communication Resolution (H.Res.697) to remove artificial barriers to greater U.S. engagement with the Artsakh Republic. Congressman Brad Sherman has the ANCA’s support when he recognized his advocacy for a broad array of ANCA-backed priorities, most notably his tireless efforts for a new U.S.-Armenia Tax Treaty, which would, by eliminating the threat of double taxation, remove a major barrier to the growth of U.S. investments in Armenia. Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) won an ANCA endorsement for, among many reasons, his authorship of H.Res.537, an Azerbaijani sanctions act.
The ANCA is endorsing four Armenian Americans running for federal office, including two House incumbents—Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), who serves as Co-Chair of the Congressional Armenian Caucus and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA), who has been at the forefront of efforts to support Christian communities in the Middle East. Joining them is Republican Danny Tarkanian, who is running for an open House seat in Nevada’s third Congressional district and has been a longstanding advocate on Armenian issues, and Democrat Anthony Brindisi, challenging incumbent Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (R-NY) in upstate New York.
Overall, the ANCA is endorsing seven candidates running in open seats or challenging incumbents. Joining Tarkanian and Brindisi in the U.S. House are Democrat Lori Trahan running in Massachusetts’ third district; Republican Young Kim running in Orange County, California to succeed retiring House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA); and, Democrat Tom Malinowski challenging Rep. Leonard Lance in New Jersey’s 7th Congressional district. On the Senate side, the ANCA is endorsing California State Senator Kevin De Leon over Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Nevada Congresswoman Jackie Rosen in her bid to unseat Sen. Dean Heller.
“We are pleased to stand by federal legislators and candidates who have stood with Armenia and Artsakh,” shared ANCA Government Affairs Director Raffi Karakashian. “By throwing our electoral support behind candidates with proven track records in advancing ANCA-backed core community initiatives, we are looking to expand the voices committed to strengthening the U.S.-Armenia relationship, ensuring safety and security for an independent Artsakh, and helping secure justice for the Armenian Genocide. The ANCA is looking forward to advancing the policies embedded in our ANCA 360 initiative with all members of Congress in the upcoming 116th Congress,” Karakashian added.
Each endorsement is backed up by detailed ANCA Report Cards documenting the track record of each incumbent Senator and Representative across a broad range of Armenian American issues—including U.S.-Armenia relations, Artsakh’s freedom and security, and justice for the Armenian Genocide, as well as legislative initiatives related to the welfare of Christian and other at-risk Middle East minorities, and U.S. policy toward Turkey—ranging from human rights and the occupation of Cyprus to America’s over-reliance on the Incirlik airbase. Also taken into consideration are membership in the Armenian Caucus; travel to Armenia and Artsakh; participation in Armenian American events commemorating the Armenian Genocide, celebrating Artsakh’s freedom, and marking Armenia’s independence; engagement with local Armenian American constituents, and; support for a broad array of Congressional letters on ANCA-backed advocacy priorities— including the FY18 and FY19 foreign aid bills.
To review the ANCA Congressional Report Cards, visit: https://anca.org/report-card.