June 19, 2018 - Delaine Eastin Endorses Eleni Kounalakis for Lieutenant Governor of California


Eastin’s endorsement continues Kounalakis’ momentum after her first place showing in the Top Two primary

San Francisco, CA – Today, the Eleni Kounalakis for Lt. Governor campaign announced the endorsement of Delaine Eastin, former Superintendent of Public Instruction and Democratic gubernatorial candidate. In her statement, Eastin cited Eleni’s commitment to running a grassroots campaign up and down the state and ensuring that we create a better and stronger California for the next generation.

“I am pleased to endorse Eleni Kounalakis for Lt. Governor,” said Eastin. “Eleni understands the challenges California faces and the importance of putting our children first when it comes to public policy. Her experiences, her work ethic, her willingness to visit and understand the different needs of our 58 counties and to represent all of its people are important assets. I’m also excited by the prospect of finally having a woman serve as LG, and to have her elected with many other women at all levels of our government; that’s how the priorities of California and of our nation will shift to be more compassionate and focused on the future.”

“I am so proud to have Delaine Eastin’s endorsement in my race for Lt. Governor,” said Kounalakis. “Delaine has spent her career working to make sure we are creating a better and brighter future for our children. I look forward to working with Delaine when I am elected Lt. Governor to improve early childhood education, the quality of K-12 education, and make sure we make college affordable for all.”

Kounalakis was the number one vote-getter in June’s Top Two primary. She has been endorsed by dozens of prominent Democratic elected officials and organizations, like U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, the California Federation of Teachers, the California League of Conservation Voters, 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, Assemblymembers Blanca Rubio and Kevin McCarty, Los Angeles City Councilmembers Gil Cedillo and Nury Martinez, CA Women’s List, and over 20 Democratic clubs across California.

Kounalakis is the only Democratic woman in the race for Lt. Governor and would be the first woman elected Lt. Governor in California history. 

Her blend of experience as a successful business woman, economic advisor, and job creator, as well her government experience as a U.S. Ambassador, make her uniquely qualified to serve as Lt. Governor. 

Kounalakis kicked off her campaign in 2017 by visiting 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 helped her place first in the primary and will help her 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 First 5 Commission, where she worked to provide and improve opportunities for early childhood education. 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.