By Taniel Koushakjian
FLArmenians Managing Editor
Florida Armenians is pleased to announce our endorsements for the 2014 elections. The endorsement list below is categorized by federal, state, and county races. Overall, Florida Armenians has endorsed 25 Republicans and 13 Democrats in a variety of races, including some challengers.
Champions of Armenian issues in Florida include Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), who was recently named Vice Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues. In the Florida State Senate, Florida Armenians enthusiastically support Senator Jack Latvala (R-Pinellas), who introduced and managed the successful passage of the first Armenian Genocide resolution in the Florida State Senate in 2013.
Noticeably absent from our endorsement list is a candidate for Florida Governor. Unfortunately, neither current Governor Rick Scott (R-FL) nor former Governor Charlie Crist (D-FL) was proactive on Armenian issues during their administration. In addition, both candidates refrained from issuing statements to the Florida Armenian community.
Also, Florida Armenians would like to highlight Garo Artinian, who is running for Northern Palm Beach County Improvement District Seat 2. Mr. Artinian is the only Armenian American on the ballot in Florida.
FLORIDA VOTER INFORMATION
To help give you an idea of what to expect on Election Day, here are links to sample ballots for Broward County, Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, and Pinellas County. Polls are open from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Florida has two time zones. As such, election results will be released at 8:00 PM EST. If you don’t know where to go, you can find your closest polling station online by entering your address at your local county government website. For more information about voting in Florida, click here.
FLORIDA ARMENIANS 2014 ELECTION ENDORSEMENTS
- District 1: Jeff Miller (R-FL)
- District 3: Ted Yoho (R-FL)
- District 5: Corrine Brown (D-FL)
- District 11: Rich Nugent (R-FL)
- District 12: Gus Bilirakis (R-FL)
- District 13: David Jolly (R-FL)
- District 14: Kathy Castor (D-FL)
- District 15: Dennis Ross (R-FL)
- District 21: Ted Deutch (D-FL)
- District 22: Lois Frankel (D-FL)
- District 24: Frederica Wilson (D-FL)
- District 25: Mario Diaz-Bolart (R-FL)
- District 26: Carlos Curbelo (R-FL)*
- Attorney General: Pam Bondi (R)
- Chief Financial Officer: Jeff Atwater (R)
- Commissioner of Agriculture: Adam Putnam (R)
- HD-64: James Grant (R-FL)
- HD-66: Chris Latvala (R-FL)*
- HD-68: Bill Young (R-FL)*
- HD-69: Kathleen Peters (D-FL)
- HD-70: Daryl Rouson (D-FL)
- HD-81: Kevin Rader (D-FL)
- HD-82: MaryLynn Magar (R-FL)
- HD-88: Bobby Powell (D-FL)
- HD-91: Irving Slosberg (D-FL)
- HD-92: Gwendolen Clarke-Reed (D-FL)
- HD-93: George Moraitis (R-FL)
- HD-95: Hazelle Rogers (D-FL)
- HD-96: Kristin Jacobs (D-FL)
- HD-103: Manny Diaz, Jr. (R-FL)
- HD-105: CarlosTrujillo (R-FL)
- HD-116: Jose Felix Diaz (R-FL)
- SD-20: Jack Latvala (R-FL)
- SD-22: Jeff Brandes (R-FL)
- SD-32: Joe Negron (R-FL)
- SD-36: Oscar Braynon II (D-FL)
- Palm Beach County Commission District 4: Steven L. Abrams
- Broward County Commission District 4: Chip LaMarca
- Northern Palm Beach County Improvement District 2: Garo Artinian
* Denotes challenger
By Taniel Koushakjian
FLArmenians Managing Editor
Instead of taking the summer off, five South Florida Armenian students are working in a variety of industries to advance their careers. From finance to international relations to law, Florida’s Armenian American youth are growing fast and branching out across America.
Mariam Grigoryan, a Boca Raton native and senior at the University of Florida (UF), is currently a legal intern in the Broward County Public Defender office in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Under the director of Public Defender Howard Finkelstein Grigoryan’s work will focus on indigent defense. Grigoryan looks to graduate with a double major in Political Science and Criminology, as well as a minor in Business Administration. She plans to attend law school in the fall of 2015.
Boca Raton resident and Queens, New York native, Gevork Sarkisian, is also pursuing his career in the legal field. A second year law student at Nova Southeastern University (NSU), Sarkisian is currently interning with the law firm Kanner and Pintaluga, P.A. in Delray Beach, Florida. Sarkisian received his B.A. in Criminal Justice from Florida Atlantic University (FAU). Following his internship, Sarkisian plans to visit Washington, DC to “explore new opportunities in the legal field,” he said.
Palm Beach County native Carine Kazandjian, a communications major and commercial music minor at FAU, is spending her summer interning with Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Company in West Palm Beach, Florida. The FAU junior has a passion for music and has even released a few songs of her own, available on ITunes. “I am gaining so much knowledge working with the different departments whether it is radio or promotions. The music industry is mainly what I want my future in and this internship is giving me the opportunity to learn more and more each day,” Kazandjian said.
Meanwhile, her twin sister, Sarine Kazandjian, is currently interning at Morgan Stanley’s Palm Beach Gardens office. A finance major with a minor focus in entrepreneurship, Kazandjian is a junior at the University of Florida.
Florida International University (FIU) junior Gevorg Shahbazyan is currently an intern in the office of the Nagorno Karabakh Representative in Washington, DC as a participant in the Armenian Assembly of America’s Terjenian-Thomas Summer Internship Program, the first student internship program offered by an Armenian organization in America. Recently, Shabazyan worked with his fellow students and FIU faculty to have the flags of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh raised in the school’s atrium. Hailing from Yerevan, Armenia, Shahbazyan studies international relations and hopes to continue his studies in graduate school and someday be a diplomat.
These young, bright, rising stars of the South Florida Armenian American community are sure to impress their friends and colleagues, while representing our community proudly in all their endeavors.