WASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) has endorsed challenger Bruce Shuttleworth, a retired Navy fighter pilot seeking to unseat incumbent Representative Jim Moran in Virginia’s 8th Congressional District, which spans Arlington and Alexandria to Springfield, McLean, Annandale, and Falls Church, home to a large Armenian American community. The Democratic primary will be held on June 12th.
Both candidates filled out the ANCA’s candidate questionnaire with Shuttleworth standing out as the only candidate to unequivocally support Armenian Genocide recognition, Nagorno Karabakh’s right to independence and U.S. pressure on Turkey to end its blockade of Armenia.
“The ANCA is proud to endorse Bruce Shuttleworth, a war veteran, who understands that we can neither advance our interests nor enhance our security by running away from our core values,” said ANCA Government Affairs Director Kate Nahapetian, who lives in the 8th Congressional District.
“We look forward to informing the Armenian American community in Virginia’s 8th District of the stark choice they face and getting out the vote in support of Mr. Shuttleworth, who will be a courageous voice for truth and integrity in American foreign policy in the region,” explained Sevan Kolejian, ANCA of Greater Washington Co-Chair.
Shuttleworth, who spoke with the ANCA at the recent Alexandria Armenian Festival and was recently profiled in The Washington Post, is a graduate of Annapolis, who flew missions over Somalia and Bosnia. He has received an MBA from Harvard and works as a management consultant. His campaign, which stresses his commitment to ethical governance, has pushed to increase accountability for conflicts of interest in Congress.
“I will be proud to be a passionate voice in Congress in support of Armenia and their long-oppressed rights. The world will be a better, safer place when more world leaders acknowledge facts, even uncomfortable and inconvenient ones. With more than one million Armenians killed between 1915 and 1923, there should be no doubt that what happened was a crime against humanity that should rightfully be classified as genocide,” said Shuttleworth, in a statement to ANCA of Greater Washington, DC.
Shuttleworth has explained, “The most enviable of all titles is that of an honest man and that title is my special interest.”
Moran began his service in the U.S. House as a supporter of Armenian American issues, but has shifted into opposition to the community’s concerns, most notably in the form of his high-profile efforts, in league with genocide deniers, to block legislation commemorating the Armenian Genocide.
In the last session of Congress, Moran received an “F” grade from the ANCA. He has opposed Armenian Genocide resolutions, explaining, as he did in a 2010 constituent letter, that “it has drawn sharp opposition from Turkey and could significantly undermine U.S.–Turkish relations and complicate efforts to sustain the U.S. military effort in Iraq.” In response to the 2012 ANCA Questionnaire, Moran explained his willingness to compromise America’s moral stand against genocide by noting that he “conditioned [his] support on implications this resolution may impose on our military and national security interest in the Middle East.”
Despite having a considerable Armenian American constituency, Moran has not supported a single Armenian American initiative in the past 5 years, yet has spearheaded a bill to negotiate a free trade agreement with Turkey, although Turkey has repeatedly ignored the United States’ calls to end its blockade of landlocked Armenia, which is impeding vital East-West trade routes and undermining U.S. interests in the region. He has also cosponsored H.R.2362, an unprecedented bill, which would exclude all countries, except Turkey, from eligibility for trade and investment preferences on Indian tribal lands. This preferential pro-Turkey legislation was opposed by the ANCA, American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), PSEKA, and the Armenian Assembly. In addition, Rep. Moran did not cosponsor the Return of Churches resolution (H.Res. 306), which enjoyed strong bipartisan support, overwhelmingly passed the House in December, 2011, and called on Turkey to return church properties and respect religious freedom. He did, however, cosponsor H.Res.638 in the last Congress, which, ignoring Turkey’s discrimination and oppression of its minorities, claimed that “the United States and Turkey share common values of democracy, diversity, tolerance. . . .”
The Democratic primary will be on Tuesday, June 12th and the ANCA looks forward to encouraging Armenian Americans to get out and vote in support of Bruce Shuttleworth.
To learn more about how you can support the Shuttleworth for Congress campaign, visit: http://shuttleworthforcongress.org/