California Primary Election Results for Armenian Candidates


WATERTOWN — California held its primary elections for various municipal, state and federal positions on March 5 and there were a number of Armenians running in these races. As California uses a top-two primary system in which candidates of all parties compete against one another, the two top receivers of votes, no matter their party affiliation, will compete against one another in the November elections. The following includes preliminary results for many of the most prominent races involving Armenians, as of March 12.


Santa Clara County Supervisor Saren Joseph Simitian, a former California State Assemblyman and Senator, ran for the 16th Congressional District in Silicon Valley to replace the retiring Anna Eshoo, who held office for 16 terms. Simitian placed second out of 11 candidates with 25,379 votes (17.1 percent). He will be facing frontrunner Sam Liccardo, who received 32, 123 votes (17.1 percent) in November. Liccardo, like Simitian, is a Democrat.

In an even more crowded race, 15 candidates ran for the 30th Congressional District election, of whom two were Armenians. This district includes Glendale, Pasadena and Burbank so has many Armenian voters. Adam Schiff had chosen to run for US Senate instead of running again in this district so there was no incumbent.

Republican Dr. Alex Balekian achieved second place, with 23,140 votes (18.4 percent), meaning he will face frontrunner Laura Friedman, a Democrat with 36,754 votes (29.3 percent), in November. Democrat Dr. Jirair Ratevosian came in 9th place, with 2,447 votes (1.9 percent). Anthony Portantino, Jr., who has been very supportive of Armenians as a California State Senator, came in third place with 16,874 votes (13.4 percent).

California State Assembly

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In the preliminary results for California State Assembly District 41, John Harabedian received 31,580 votes (29.7 percent) as the leading Democratic Party candidate, followed by Phlunté Riddle with 16,312 votes (15.3 percent). However, the Republican candidate, Michelle Del Rosario Martinez, received the most votes, with 42,982 (40.4 percent). Final results will be available on April 12, but tentatively it appears that Harabedian will face the Republican candidate this November in this usually heavily Democratic-voting district.

Carmenlina Minasova ran unsuccessfully for two seats simultaneously (see below). In the preliminary results for California State Assembly District 43, she came out fifth in a six-person race with 1,782 votes (4.3 percent).

Los Angeles City Council and Glendale City Council

In the primary for Los Angeles City Council District 2, which was held by Paul Krekorian until he timed out of this seat, former California State Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian is the frontrunner, with 12,793 votes (37.32 percent), with Jillian Burgos (7,426 or 21.66 percent) in second place as his likely opponent in the November election. Two other Armenians were among the 7 candidates running, including Sam Kbushyan in third place, with 5,284 votes (15.42 percent), and Marin Ghandilyan in last place, with 935 votes (2.73 percent). Final results will be announced on March 28 for City Council races.

In LA City Council District 4, including parts of Silver Lake to Los Feliz, Hollywood Hills, Sherman Oaks to Encino, and parts of Studio City, Van Nuys and Reseda, Levon Baronian came in third place with 6,324 votes (10.81 percent), losing to frontrunner and incumbent Nithya Raman with 29,377 votes (50.19 percent), and challenger Ethan Weaver with 22,825 votes (39 percent).

In the race for Los Angeles City Council District 6 (which includes Arleta, Lake Balboa, North Hollywood, North Hills, Panorama City, Van Nuys and Sun Valley), Carmenlina Minasova came in third place with 1,776 votes (9.71 percent), losing to incumbent Imelda Padilla with 15,190 votes (78.42 percent) and Ely de la Cruz Ayao with 2,301 votes (11.88 percent).

In Glendale, four out of seven candidates for two at-large seats in the City Council were Armenians. Ardy Kassakhian, with 11,955 votes (22.65 percent) was the frontrunner, followed by Vartan Gharpetian, with 8,924 votes (16.91 percent) and Vrej Agajanian with 8,793 votes (16.66 percent). Karen Kwak was in fouth place with 8,589 votes (15.03 percent). Andre Haghverdian was in last place, with 2,463 votes (4.67 percent). The two top receivers of votes when final results are in will win Council seats.

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