Obama sweeps Armenian-heavy California constituencies

by Emil Sanamyan

Published: Saturday November 15, 2008

Washington - Senator Barack Obama polled above state average in Southern California communities with a substantial Armenian presence, according to final election results certified and published on November 8.

As expected, the Democratic Party ticket enjoyed a comfortable victory in California, winning 61 percent (6.3 million) of the vote statewide to Sen. John McCain's 37 percent.

In Los Angeles County, the largest hub of the Armenian community in the United States, the margin of victory was wider, with Mr. Obama and his running mate Joe Biden winning more than 69 percent (1.85 million) of the vote.

In Glendale, 34,125 votes (64 percent) were cast for Mr. Obama and 17,288 for Mr. McCain (32 percent). Rep. Adam Schiff (D.) was re-elected with 31,926 votes, with his Republican challenger receiving 13,557 votes. The controversial Proposition 8 banning gay marriage was approved by 28,057 votes to 23,214 voting against.

In nearby Pasadena, 34,050 votes were cast for Mr. Obama (72 percent) and 11,914 for Mr. McCain. Mr. Schiff won 31,560 votes to his GOP opponent's 10,311 votes; while proposition 8 was voted down by 26,634 voters with 19,461 voting in support of the ban.

And in Burbank, Mr. Obama won 23,928 votes (64 percent) to Mr. McCain's 12,231; Mr. Schiff, 10,790, and his GOP opponent, 4,770 votes; Rep. Brad Sherman (D.) was re-elected with 11,466 votes, with his Republican opponent winning 4,416 votes; and Proposition 8 was defeated by 20,043 votes to 16,388.

Armenian-Americans in California elections

Armenian-American members of Congress Anna Eshoo (D.) and Jackie Speier (D,), representing San Francisco-area constituencies, were comfortably re-elected.

In state elections, Senator from Palo Alto Joseph Simitian and Assembly member for the Glendale and Burbank area Paul Krekorian, both Democrats, were re-elected.

Two Republicans, Assembly member Greg Aghazarian, a candidate for a Senate seat in the Central Valley, and Armineh Chelebian, running for an assembly seat in the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Van Nuys and West Hills, were defeated.

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