Blog Archives

Commissioner Mark Samuelian Celebration of Life Service

MIAMI BEACH, FL – Florida Armenians (FLArmenians) deeply mourns the sudden passing of Miami Beach Commissioner Mark Samuelian, who passed away surrounded by family and loved ones on June 22, 2022. He was 58 years old. Samuelian was a beloved member of the South Florida Armenian American community. Originally from Boston, MA, Samuelian moved to Miami Beach in 2003 and was immediately active in his local community.

Samuelian had just been reelected to his seat in 2021 after winning for the first time in 2017 on a “resident first” agenda, NBC News Chanel 6 Miami reported.

“Samuelian was the first Armenian American elected in Miami Dade County,” stated FLArmenians Editor Arsine Kaloustian. We are so grateful for his years of steadfast service and his lasting contributions to Miami Beach and to the South Florida Armenian American community. His loss will be felt not only regionally, but throughout the state,,” Kaloustian said.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said Samuelian was a “superb colleague and dedicated public servant.” Miami Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said his death is a “profound loss for our entire community.”

A Celebration of Life of Mark Samuelian will be held on Monday, July 11 at 4:00pm at the New World Center, 500 17 Street, Miami Beach, FL 33139. Public parking is available in the city garage at 640 17th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139.

You can watch online as the event will be LIVE STREAMED on the City of Miami Beach’s Facebook Page at 4:00pm.

Florida Armenians Endorsed Candidates Win Big on Election Day

BOCA RATON, FL – Florida Armenians is pleased to announce that our endorsed candidates from the 2021 election cycle won their elections.

Miami Beach City Commissioner Mark Samuelian

In the City of Miami Beach, Commissioner Mark Samuelian won his re-election without opposition. Samuelian is the only Armenian American elected government official in the State of Florida and was the first Armenian to win an election in Miami-Dade County when he was elected to the City Commission in 2019 with Florida Armenians endorsement. In 2020, the City of Miami beach passed a resolution introduced by Commissioner Samuelian officially recognizing the 1915 Armenian Genocide.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber

Florida Armenians endorsed Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber in 2021, as we did in 2019, and he won his contested election with 62% of the vote, securing a third, two-year term.

2022 Special & Municipal Elections

Following the death of Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL) on April 6, 2021, a special election to fill the vacant Florida Congressional District 20 seat was held on January 11, 2022. Hastings was a founding member of the Congressional Azerbaijan Caucus, a group of Members of Congress interested in Azerbaijan, a Muslim-majority dictatorship neighboring the Republic of Armenia in the South Caucasus that has enlisted Afghan and Syrian/ISIS terrorist mercenaries to kill Christian Armenians in wars it launched against Armenia in 1994 and 2020, respectively. Hastings, who broke with his party’s leadership in siding with the genocidal Azerbaijani and Turkish regimes, repeatedly opposed U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide, despite Armenian Americans’ deep relationships with African Americans and relatable struggles as a minority community often subject to similar discrimination and prejudice.

The deep blue FL-20 Congressional seat saw eleven Democrats run to replace Hastings in the Democrat primary election held on November 2, 2021. Broward County lawyer and health care executive Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick defeated the Hastings-endorsed candidate, Broward County Commissioner Dale Holeness, by five votes.

Congresswoman-elect Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-FL-20)

Florida Armenians did not offer an endorsement in the FL-20 special election, but looks forward to working with Congresswoman Cherfilus-McCormick (D-FL), the first Haitian American Representative from Florida, in the months and years ahead.

The FL-20 Congressional district seat vacancy set off a domino effect as many local elected officials vied for the open seat. Florida is one of five states with a “resign-to-run” law, which prohibits a current office holder from running for a different seat without first resigning the seat they hold, should the terms of the current office held overlap with the office sought.

In addition to Commissioner Holeness, Florida State Reps. Omari Hardy (D-FL-88) and Bobby DuBose (D-FL-94) resigned their West Palm Beach-based and Ft. Lauderdale-based State House seats, respectively, in order to run for Congress in the vacant FL-20. Florida State Senator Perry Thurston (D-FL-33) also resigned his northwest Ft. Lauderdale-based State Senate seat in order to seek the vacant FL-20 Congressional seat.

A special election for the FL-33 State Senate, FL-88 and FL-94 State House seats has been scheduled take place on March 8, 2022, which is when Palm Beach County & Broward County will hold municipal elections.

Florida Armenians will release our slate of endorsed 2022 South Florida special election and municipal candidates in the coming days as early voting begins in Palm Beach County on February 12th.

For more information about municipal elections in South Florida please visit the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections website and Broward County Supervisor of Elections website.

Nineteen (19) Palm Beach County municipalities will hold elections on March 8, 2022, they are: Boynton Beach, Greenacres, Haverhill, Highland Beach, Juno Beach, Jupiter, Jupiter Inlet Colony, Lake Clarke Shores, Lake Park, Lake Worth Beach, Lantana, Loxahatchee Groves, North Palm Beach, Pahokee, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, South Palm Beach, Wellington, and West Palm Beach.

Six (6) Broward County municipalities will hold elections on March 8, 2022, there are: Hillsboro Beach, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Lazy Lake, Lighthouse Point, Pembroke Pines, and Sea Ranch Lakes.

Municipal elections in Florida are non-partisan.

Florida Armenians Endorse Miami Beach City Commissioner Mark Samuelian, Mayor Gelber for Re-Election

City of Miami Beach Commissioner Mark Samuelian

MIAMI BEACH, FL – Florida Armenians (FLArmenians.com) is pleased to endorse Miami Beach City Commissioner Mark Samuelian for re-election.

“I’m thrilled to be endorsed by Florida Armenians and have the support of the South Florida Armenian American community,” Samuelian told FLArmenians.com. “I have the privilege of serving many constituencies that call Miami Beach home and I look forward to continue to fight on their behalf on the City Commission,” Samuelian said.

Florida Armenians is also pleased to endorse Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber for re-election. Both Samuelian and Gelber were previously endorsed by FLArmenians.com in 2017.

The candidate qualifying period runs from September 7-10, 2021.

City of Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber

Samuelian is currently running unopposed while Gelber has one qualified challenger. If no candidate files to challenge Samuelian before the qualifying deadline, then he will be automatically re-elected and will not appear on the November general election ballot.

If you are a resident of the City of Miami Beach, the last day to register to vote in order to participate in the November general election is October 4, 2021.

The City of Miami Beach general election will take place on Tuesday, November 2, 2021.