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California State Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva Announces Endorsement of Eleni Kounalakis for Lieutenant Governor of California
Quirk-Silva’s endorsement continues momentum of Kounalakis’ campaign for Lt. Governor
San Francisco, CA — Today, California Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva formally endorsed Eleni Kounalakis for Lt. Governor. In her statement she cited Eleni’s commitment to expanding healthcare, improving affordable access to higher education and creating economic opportunities for all Californians.
“I am so thrilled to endorse Eleni for Lt. Governor of California,” said Quirk-Silva. “As a former educator for over 30 years, I am inspired by Eleni’s commitment to making higher education more affordable and to making sure all of California’s kids have more opportunities to succeed. Eleni is a businesswoman, but she is not beholden to Wall Street or big corporate interests. She will fight for an economy that works for everyone. Eleni will be able to bring real, positive solutions to our state and I look forward to working with her.”
“I am so honored to have Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva’s endorsement for Lt. Governor,” said Kounalakis. “Her dedication to improving education and making higher education more affordable for all Californians is inspiring. I look forward to working with leaders like Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva to ensure every student can receive a quality education from any institution or vocational school in California and is ready to meet the economic demands of the future.”
Kounalakis comes armed with a growing list of endorsements from prominent Democratic elected officials and organizations, like U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, the California Federation of Teachers, EMILY’s List, Equality California, NARAL Pro-Choice California, Northern California Carpenters Regional Council, California State University Employees Union SEIU 2579, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr., Representatives Nanette Barragan, Anna Eshoo, Zoe Lofgren, Doris Matsui, Jerry McNerney, Jimmy Panetta, Eric Swalwell, and Mike Thompson, former State Senator Mark Leno, Assembly members Blanca Rubio and Kevin McCarty, Los Angeles City Councilmembers Gil Cedillo and Nury Martinez, CA Women’s List, and the Sacramento, Stonewall, Fresno, Marin, San Fernando Valley and Ventura County Young Democrats.
Kounalakis is the only viable Democratic woman in the race for Lt. Governor. Her unique blend of experience as a successful business woman and job creator and government experience as a U.S. Ambassador has resulted in Kounalakis vaulting to the front of the field for the Top Two primary.
She recently announced that she had raised $2.4 million in the campaign, more than any other candidate in the race, and has more cash on hand than any of her opponents as we head into the critical last few months of the primary campaign.
Kounalakis is the only candidate in the race to visit all 58 counties. She spent the summer and fall traveling across the state, meeting with Democratic central committees, clubs, and activists, and community leaders. She has received support from hundreds of delegates to the CDP convention and has built a base of grassroots support that will help her advance to the general election and win in November.
Kounalakis is a business woman and diplomat. She was appointed by President Barack Obama as Ambassador to Hungary in 2010. She is a life-long Democrat and five-time delegate to the Democratic National Convention and worked as an advocate for early childhood education as a member of California’s First 5 Commission and the Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism.
She was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to lead the California International Trade and Investment Advisory Council and served as a member of the San Francisco Port Commission. Prior to serving our country in the diplomatic corps, she was president of AKT Development Corporation in Sacramento, where she helped deliver tens of thousands of affordable homes for middle-class families. Kounalakis was born and raised in Sacramento and is a graduate of the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and Dartmouth College. She and her husband, Markos, live in San Francisco where they are raising their two teenage sons.