Turkish & Azerbaijan Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) Loses Re-Election; Pro-Erdogan Pennsylvania Republican Senate Candidate Mehmet Oz Also Loses
WASHINGTON, DC – With the majority of the 2022 midterm election races declared, Armenian Caucus members who sought re-election were resoundingly successful at the ballot box and will be returning to Capitol Hill next year. Of the 124 Armenian Caucus members in the 117th Congress, 108 sought re-election, 11 retired, and 5 sought other office.
The Armenian Caucus is led by Co-Chairs Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Jackie Speier (D-CA), David Valadao (R-CA), and Adam Schiff (D-CA). It was founded in 1995 by Rep. Pallone and then-Congressman John Porter (R-IL), as a bipartisan body of elected officials who represent Armenian American constituencies, who support the Republic of Armenia’s independence and sovereignty, and seek to foster stronger U.S.-Armenia relations.
Two long-serving Armenian Caucus Representatives, Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Andy Levin (D-MI), lost their primary contests as redistricting forced both incumbents into Member-on-Member battles due to both states losing a congressional seat given population declines. Maloney is the sponsor of H.R.7555, the “Armenian Genocide Education Act,” currently pending in Congress.
In total 66 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, 38 Democrats and 28 Republicans, were not seeking re-election to the House in 2022 or lost their primary races, as midterm contests typically see a large number of retirements, especially from the party expected to lose seats.
As of this writing, 13 races of Armenian Caucus members have yet to be called by the Associated Press, including Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Rep. David Valadao (R-CA). Of those, Rep. Valadao and the majority are on track to win re-election and only two incumbents are currently behind. Only one Armenian Caucus member has, so far, lost re-election. Should these trends hold, 97% of Armenian Caucus members will have won re-election and will be returning next year for the 118th Congress.
This number does not include challengers who have pledged to join the Armenian Caucus, such as Robert Menendez, Jr. (D-NJ), the son of Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who won the 8th Congressional district contest to replace retiring Armenian Caucus member Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ). Also, Thomas Kean (R-NJ), who pledged to join the Armenian Caucus if elected, defeated Rep. Tom Malinowki (D-NJ), who never joined the Armenian Caucus, in the 7th Congressional district race.
In addition to the Armenian Caucus races, other notable races include Azerbaijan Caucus and Turkish Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), who serves as the Republican Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia, and Nonproliferation. Chabot lost his re-election 48% to 52% for Democrat Greg Landsman after the once-a-decade redistricting process left the state with one less congressional district and his redrawn Cincinnati-based seat much more Democratic. In the closely battled Senate race in Pennsylvania, Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz, a dual U.S. and Turkish citizen and ally of Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan, lost his campaign for the open seat 46.6% to 50.9% for Democrat Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman.
In the Senate, the Armenian Council congratulates the following pro-Armenian Senators on their re-election and we thank them for their strong pro-Armenian positions and for their efforts to block the sale of U.S. military equipment and weapons systems to Turkey, namely Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Senator James Lankford (R-OK), Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA), Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Senator Todd Young (R-IN).
The Armenian Council also congratulates the U.S. Governors who were re-elected and who have historically strong records on Armenian issues, during their time as Governor or in another public office. They include Governors Mike DeWine (R-OH), Maura Healey (D-MA), Gavin Newsom (D-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), and Tim Walz (D-MN).
“Last night, Armenian American voters and supporters of truth, justice, and democracy in Armenia and in the U.S. more broadly, prevailed to a high degree,” stated Armenian Council of America Board Chairman Sevak Khatchadorian, “and we congratulate all the winners on their success. “Unfortunately, not everyone will be returning next year and I just want to take this opportunity to say ‘Thank You’ to Congresswoman Jackie Speier, who has been a model leader and U.S. Representative in Congress on a wide array of issues over the years. Her direct connection to the Armenian Genocide, and her passion for all human rights, has led to an impressive career that has definitely moved the needle on the arc of the universe toward justice for Americans, for Armenians, and for champions of freedom, democracy, and good over evil. She will be greatly missed in Congress next year and we salute her grace, grit, and perseverance over the many battles we’ve won together,” Khatchadorian said.