Armenian-American seeks Virginia congressional seat

Charles Diradour challenges No. 2 House Republican Eric Cantor

by Emil Sanamyan

Published: Thursday September 17, 2009

Charles Diradour.

Washington - Charles Diradour, a Richmond real estate developer, will challenge incumbent Rep. Eric Cantor (R.-Va.) in the 2010 congressional elections, Mr. Diradour's campaign reported on September 15.

A third-generation Richmond resident, Mr. Diradour has been active in the local Armenian community and the city's politics. But local media reports suggest he will have a challenging run against a prominent incumbent in a district that has historically favored Republican candidates. 

Last year, Rep. Cantor was elected Republican Whip in the House of Representatives, the number-two position in the GOP congressional hierarchy just below minority leader.

In office since 2001, Mr. Cantor is a member of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues. He has co-sponsored resolutions on the Armenian Genocide, with the exception of the 2007 resolution, which was blocked by the Republican administration and congressional leadership.

Prior to his election to Congress and while a member of Virginia General Assembly, Mr. Cantor helped win recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the state. In April 2002 he was selected to chair the Genocide commemorative event in Virginia.

Mr. Diradour is the fourth Armenian-American known to have announced a 2010 campaign.

Natalie (Manoogian) Mosher and David Krikorian are also seeking the Democratic Party's nomination in House races in Michigan and Ohio, respectively. And Republican Danny Tarkanian is challenging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, in Nevada.

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