West Bloomfield, Michigan – On Friday, October 30, an Armenian Business Roundtable was held with Republican US Senate Candidate John James and guest Governor Chris Christie at the Shenandoah Country Club. The event was organized by Corinne Kachadourian Khederian, a former Republican elected official and Volunteer State of Michigan Vice Chair of the Armenian Assembly of America. She was assisted by Edward Haroutunian, an Armenian activist and founding chair of the Wayne County Republican Committee, and John Jamian, the first Armenian elected to the Michigan State legislature and currently Volunteer State of Michigan Director of the Armenian Assembly of America.
John James is in the last few days of campaigning for the Michigan US Senate seat in a hotly contested race and is currently 2 points ahead in the polls of the Democrat currently holding the seat. He is the son of parents, as he states, from the “Jim Crow South” and grew up in Detroit. James is a West Point graduate, served his country with distinction in Operation Iraqi Freedom and currently serves as President of his family business that was started by his father.
In the meeting, James proved himself to be a friend of the Armenian community. The main topic that was at the top of everyone’s mind was the aggression occurring in Artsakh by Azerbaijan and Turkey.
According to Khederian, “Father Aren Jebejian, Pastor of St. John Armenian Church (representing the four Michigan Armenian churches), John Jamian, Judges Lisa Asadoorian and Krista Haroutunian and other attendees explained to Mr. James and Governor Christie the mass devastation and casualties that are occurring to Armenian civilians, soldiers, churches and infrastructure since September 27.”
Khederian explained to James that everyone attending had lost family members in the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and now another genocide is impacting Armenians today which must end. “John James was appalled at the kind of devastation taking place against a civilian population in Karabakh, and was very moved to determine for himself why the killing could not stop now,” said Edward Haroutunian.
Christie, who is very familiar with the Armenian community from his service as governor of the State of New Jersey, also stated his concern for what was happening to the Armenians overseas. He reviewed a map of the region with attendee Sandy Mouradian to gain a better understanding of the area impacted.