“Mr. Paul Krekorian himself has met with me, and the message was clear that you will not get elected,” Keuroghelian said during the forum. “So instead of staying with this race and diluting the Armenian votes and taking away Miss Nahabedian’s chances of getting elected, you better pull out of the race. It is better for the community if you pull out.”
Representatives for Krekorian and Nahabedian denied the claims.
Keuroghelian said representatives from Nahabedian’s campaign and from the local chapter of the Armenian National Committee, whose political action committee endorsed Nahabedian, were among those who pressured him to drop out of the contest.
Nahabedian, along with other candidates in the district, which includes most of Glendale, Burbank and parts of Los Angeles, has actively campaigned to the large contingent of area Armenian voters with targeted and translated campaign materials.
Keuroghelian, who has failed in his three election bids for Glendale City Council, added after the forum that Krekorian offered to issue that later endorsement for another council run.
The issue was raised during a forum hosted by the Burbank Democratic Club in which candidates were permitted to ask each other questions.
Democratic candidate Mike Gatto asked Keuroghelian if he had received an offer to step out of the race.
“The accusation from Chahe and from Mike Gatto that there was some sort of deal made is completely ridiculous,” Jeremy Oberstein, a spokesman for Krekorian, said. “Paul is supporting Nayiri because he believes that she can rise above these gutter tactics that both of these campaigns are now employing.”
The Armenian National Committee also rebutted the claims, although the organization’s political action committee did meet with Keuroghelian prior to making its endorsement.