Candidate drops out

Keuroghelian cites party unity as reason for his departure from Assembly race.

May 18, 2010|By Zain Shauk

Democrat Chahe Keuroghelian on Monday ended his candidacy for state Assembly, setting up a face-off between two candidates to represent Glendale, Burbank and parts of Los Angeles in a Nov. 2 election.

Keuroghelian, an Armenian-language television host and former public information officer for the Glendale Police Department, was one of two remaining Democratic candidates for the 43rd Assembly District in a June 8 primary ahead of the general election.

He could not be reached for comment Monday evening after he sent out the announcement.

Democrat Mike Gatto, an attorney and the former district director for Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks), is now the lone member of his party still in contention to fill the Assembly seat left vacant by now-Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian.


Gatto will take on Republican Sunder Ramani in a June 8 special election to fill the seat until the end of the current legislative session Nov. 30. The two will campaign for the same seat on Nov. 2 to determine the 43rd Assembly District’s representative for the following two years.

“While I’m pleased to have one less opponent in the race, I’m taking nothing for granted,” Gatto said. “I’m still working very hard and getting to know voters.”

Keuroghelian, in a two-page statement about his decision, said he was ending his campaign “for the sake of Democratic Party unity.”

Keuroghelian was one of three Democrats in a special primary election April 13, in which he came in at the bottom of the polls with 5,462 votes.

He was one of two Armenian American candidates in the contest, and some argued that his candidacy jeopardized the chances of Democrat Nayiri Nahabedian because the two were campaigning aggressively toward the same community.

Keuroghelian said he would “use this statement as an opportunity to remind everyone about the facts of this campaign.”

He argued that such claims are racist and assume that the community would have otherwise voted as a bloc. Many of his supporters would not have voted if he was not a candidate, he said.

Nahabedian came in third with 8,358 votes, while Gatto received the most votes, with 11,954, making him the top Democrat and the party’s candidate for the June 8 runoff.

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