February 12, 2018 - Fresno City Council President Esmeralda Soria Announces Endorsement of Eleni Kounalakis for Lieutenant Governor of California
Soria’s endorsement continues growing support from around the state for Kounalakis’ campaign for Lt. Governor
San Francisco, CA — Today, Fresno City Council President Esmeralda Soria formally endorsed Eleni Kounalakis for Lt. Governor. In her statement, Councilwoman Soria cited Kounalakis’ commitment to California values and creating more opportunities for all Californians.
"I'm proud to support Eleni Kounalakis for Lt. Governor,” said Fresno City Council President Esmeralda Soria. “Eleni is exactly the right leader Fresno and California needs right now. She understands that while the economy is booming for some, there are too many families still trying to recover from the 2008 recession. Eleni has walked the path of the American Dream, and I know that she will fight for more opportunities for working families to succeed. She will stand up to the Trump Administration to protect California's immigrants and DREAMers - because she knows that the future of our state is rooted in our diversity and values."
“I am so honored to have Council President Esmeralda Soria’s endorsement for Lt. Governor,” said Kounalakis. “Statewide leaders must do more to ensure that Fresno and Central Valley families benefit as much as other parts of the state from the economic recovery. As Lt. Governor, I will serve as chair of the California Commission for Economic Development, and I will work to ensure that no one part of our state is left behind when it comes to economic growth and job creation.”
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, 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, CA Women’s List, and the 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.