MIDLOTHIAN, VA — Marty Mooradian, is a Democrat running for House District 27 of the Virginia House of Delegates from Midlothian, Chesterfield County, Virginia. Mooradian, 35, has been involved in politics since 2002.
In 2003, Mooradian served on the Armenian American Democratic Leadership Council. He still actively advocates for the Armenian Genocide Resolution, and many of the Congressmen he worked for were supporters of the resolution, including Brad Ellsworth and current Senator Joe Donnelly.
Charlie Diradour, president of Lion’s Paw Development Company in Richmond, has known Mooradian for five years. “Marty is a dedicated servant to the people. Marty is a real Armenian. By that I mean there is nothing he cannot do if he puts his mind to it.”
Originally from Johnston, R.I., Mooradian graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a degree in political science in 2002. After working on political campaigns in North Dakota and Indiana, he moved to Virginia in 2003 to work for Steve Shannon for Virginia delegate. A year later, he was named political director and finance director for New Leadership Virginia, and rose to other high-ranking political offices to support other candidates.
Mooradian has made Virginia his home, and met his wife Christina, a pediatric dietician at Chippenham Hospital in Richmond, there. Mooradian is currently a commercial sales and leasing agent with Joyner Commercial Real Estate. He is in favor of growing developments so that businesses will flock to the area.
“We need a healthy balance for commercial and residential growth,” said Mooradian. “Education is the linchpin to every community. … If schools start slipping, the communities start to fall behind.”
In addition to wanting to improve his district’s schools (as more than a quarter of the Chesterfield County schools were put on the accreditation warning list), Mooradian looks forward to voting on issues that help Richmond city schools. His main reason for running for office is to improve education in Virginia.
He has learned about education in Richmond on a personal level. “I sit on the board of the Big Brother Foundation and I am a Big Brother. My ‘Little Brother,’ 12 years of age, attends Richmond City Schools. I see the schools through his eyes,” Mooradian said.
“I need to help reverse this downward trend. How we grade schools and SOLs [state competency exams] are doing more harm than good. We are watering down education for the kids. We are going down the wrong path for many years and it does not seem that it is working.”
Mooradian supports vocational education. He also supports charter schools, but only when public education is fully funded. “This is not the time to cut resources. We have great colleges and universities in Virginia, including the community colleges, and they need more diverse populations to attend,” he said. “The tuition has caused kids to graduate with so much debt.”
Mooradian paid for his own education and is still paying off his student loans monthly. Raised by a single mother, he understands the economic hardship faced by so many families who have suffered from divorce and other hardships. Yet, he says, “the future looks brighter if the Virginia General Assembly votes to provide more funds for education.”
Mooradian also serves on the Department of Professional Occupational Regulation, a public safety board, and as well as on the Governor’s Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse Task Force. He lost his younger brother to a heroin overdose in 2012.
“I am serving as an impacted family member. More and more families are affected by this, across socio-economic lines. Addiction often starts with painkillers, heroin on the black market, and it is cheaper than a prescription pain pill. Heroin is the cheaper alternative. The task force is tightening up the prescription program with physicians. You cannot stop addiction, but you can try to keep the meds away from teens and improve the prescription monitoring program,” he said.
“The doctors do not know who is an over-prescriber when they see a new patient. The task force is recommending to the legislature 24-hour turn-around in monitoring prescriptions. This would be on par with Kentucky, North Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland. Currently it takes seven days in Virginia to monitor prescription records, so drug users come here to get prescription drugs because they know they have time to get away with it. Some states have instant reporting. Reports from the prescriber doctors and the pharmacists, in a statewide network, identify the ‘doctor shoppers.’ Law enforcement must scrutinize this system. The Prescription Monitoring Program should send law enforcement the issues to investigate.”
“I am also in favor of redistricting voting districts. My goal is to advocate for fairness in voting districts,” Mooradian said. “I look forward to working with county leaders in both parties to get stuff done.”
His opponent, Roxann Robinson was elected in a special election in 2010. “She never had to campaign. Her voting record is identical to the House Republican leadership. She never strays from the party line,” Mooradian explained.
Although he grew up in a Catholic church and attends his wife’s Lutheran church, the Armenian community in Richmond has embraced his efforts and his campaign. Bedros C. Bandazian, the local head of the Armenian National Committee (ANC) Richmond Chapter, and chairman of Bandazian & Hughes, Inc., praised Mooradian’s efforts as an activist Democrat.
“We are confident that Marty Mooradian will be a good leader for Virginia and we endorse his candidacy most confidently. Trust Marty. He is good for Virginia and will be great for Chesterfield County.”
“Through the years I have regarded Marty as a tireless worker for the people,” added Bandazian. “His dedication for justice and good government is much admired, and this youthful enthusiasm gives hope that America’s best years are still ahead.”
To contribute to Marty Mooradian’s political campaign, write to Friends of Marty Mooradian, P.O. Box 35306, Richmond VA 23235.