December 13, 2017 - Equality California Endorses Eleni Kounalakis For Lieutenant Governor


Prominent LGBTQ advocacy organization singles out Kounalakis as best candidate for Lt. Governor

San Francisco– Today, Equality California formally endorsed Eleni Kounalakis for Lieutenant Governor. Equality California is the largest LGBTQ advocacy organization in California. In its statement, Equality California praised Eleni’s commitment to equality for all Californians.

“Equality California is proud to endorse Eleni Kounalakis for Lieutenant Governor,” said Rick Zbur, Executive Director of Equality California. “Kounalakis has been a longstanding ally and activist, advancing civil rights and social justice for the LGBTQ community. She was actively opposed to Proposition 8, and as Ambassador to Hungary, made fighting for LGBTQ civil rights and protecting vulnerable LGBTQ people in Hungary one of her key priorities. We are confident she will continue to advocate to enhance the rights of LGBTQ Californians as our next Lieutenant Governor.”

“I am honored to receive the endorsement of Equality California,” said Kounalakis. “California must lead the way into the future - and that means doubling down on our California values. This starts with never tolerating discrimination and always working to ensure equal rights for all. As Lt. Governor, I look forward to working alongside organizations like Equality California to amplify more voices so that government can help to create a world that is prosperous, safe, and fully equal for everyone in the LGBTQ community.”

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, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, Representatives Nanette Barragan, Anna Eshoo, Doris Matsui, Jimmy Panetta, and Mike Thompson, former State Senator Mark Leno, Assembly members Blanca Rubio and Kevin McCarty, CA Women’s List, and the Fresno, Marin, and Ventura County Young Democrats.

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 grew up. She 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.

For more information on Eleni Kounalakis for Lt. Governor, please visit

press releaseAmy Zock