June 21, 2018 - Former State Controller Steve Westly Endorses Eleni Kounalakis for Lieutenant Governor of California


Westly’s endorsement is latest in string of high-profile Democrats to endorse Kounalakis after her Top Two primary win

San Francisco, CA – Today, the Eleni Kounalakis for Lt. Governor campaign announced the endorsement of former State Controller Steve Westly. In his statement, Westly praised Kounalakis' commitment to growing the economy for all Californians.

“Eleni Kounalakis is the right leader for California at the right time,” said Westly. “She has the experience to lead our state into the future - as a businesswoman, economic advisor, and former Ambassador to Hungary under President Barack Obama. Eleni has dedicated her life to public service. As the former Chief Financial Officer of the state of California, I know she will fight to expand our economy and ensure it works for everyone.”

“Many thanks to Steve Westly for his generous endorsement of my campaign for Lt. Governor,” said Kounalakis. “As former California State Controller, Steve knows the importance of growing California’s economy and preparing our students with the skills they will need to succeed in the 21st century workforce. I look forward to working with Steve to ensure that all of California’s children have the opportunity to achieve the American Dream.”

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, Adam Schiff, 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.