Ohio Independent House Candidate Attends Fundraiser in Mass.


By Alin K. Gregorian
Mirror-Spectator Staff

BELMONT, Mass. — About 50 supporters gathered to help the campaign of David Krikorian of Cincinnati, Ohio, who is seeking to become the third Armenian- American member of the House of Representatives.

The other two are both Democratic women from California, Anna Eshoo and Jackie Speier.

Krikorian, a registered independent, is seeking to represent Ohio’s second district in Washington.

The fundraiser for him, held at the home of David and Tamar Hamparian, brought together a diverse group of Armenian- Americans.

During the reception, Krikorian stressed that the main reason he is running is the “deteriorating situation of the financial” sector and economy. With the failing of so many banks and financial institutions threatening the economy of the country, he said, “I wanted to get involved. I wanted to be a positive force for change in Washington.”

He noted that he worked hard to gather signatures, putting the goal for himself of obtaining 50 signatures a day for several months.

Krikorian, who originally hails from Rhode Island, spoke a bit about himself, noting that he has a business background. He currently runs and owns a company that makes novelty products, such as playing cards.

Krikorian stressed that both the Republican incumbent he is facing, Jean Schmidt, and Victoria Wulsin, a Democrat, are under fire.

“I’m tired of watching Republicans and Democrat fight with one another,” he said, leading to inaction on a variety of important issues, including immigration, housing and energy. “There’s a lack of leadership from either party.”

He stressed that while he would not ban lobbying and lobbyists, he would never take money from them. “We need to end lobbying [for pay] in our country. It is poisonous. I would let them make their pitch, but I would never accept money from them.”

Krikorian touted his conservative credentials with the recent endorsement he won from the Fraternal Order of the Police in Cincinnati.

Both he, and another guest, state Rep. Peter Koutoujian (D-Newton) stressed the importance of having Armenian-Americans in politics. “Armenians have been very successful in business. They have been successful in every aspect, with the exception of politics,” Krikorian said.

Krikorian said that because Ohio has such a small Armenian community, the issue of the Genocide resolution rarely comes up during the campaign.

Schmidt has been a vocal opponent of the Amrenian Genocide resolution in Congress.

He said that having an Armenian-American in the House would mean that the person would not be swayed with regard to the Armenian Genocide resolution.

He suggested that states such as California, Massachusetts, Michigan and New Jersey, which have large Armenian-American communities, are ripe for Armenian members of Congress.

He noted, “It’s one thing to say that the Armenian Genocide happened but that it is not the right time [for passing the resolution], but it’s entirely different to say it never happened.”

He added that he was instrumental in having the governor of Ohio, Ted Strickland, as well as Mayors Michael Coleman, Frank Jackson, and Mark Mallory. He said he also spoke with Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) regarding the Genocide and convinced him to support the Genocide resolution.

Sharistan Melkonian, a Boston-area activist introduced Krikorian to those gathered.

Fundraisers for Krikorian have been held in Detroit, Providence, New Jersey and Philadelphia, in addition to the Boston one.

He will participate in two televised debates on October 6 and 22.