February 22, 2018 - NARAL Pro-Choice California Announces Endorsement of Eleni Kounalakis for Lieutenant Governor


Influential pro-choice women’s organization singles out Kounalakis as best candidate for Lt. Governor of California

San Francisco, CA — Today, NARAL-Pro Choice California formally endorsed Eleni Kounalakis for Lt. Governor. In their statement they praised Eleni’s commitment to women’s reproductive health and choice.

“Eleni Kounalakis is committed to upholding the values of reproductive freedom and we couldn’t be more proud to endorse her,” said Amy Everitt, state director of NARAL Pro-Choice California. “If elected, she will have the power to protect access to reproductive healthcare and comprehensive, accurate sex education for young women and men across the state. Electing champions up and down the ticket is key to maintaining California’s pro-choice leadership, and we look forward to mobilizing and organizing for this champion for all women.”

"I'm so proud to have NARAL Pro-Choice California’s endorsement,” said Kounalakis. “I have always been a staunch advocate for women’s reproductive rights, and now more than ever, we must be vigilant in protecting a woman’s right to choose. As Lt. Governor, I will continue to be a strong voice for reproductive freedom, and ensuring all women, no matter their financial means, have access to all reproductive health options.”

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, 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 Councilwoman 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 businesswoman and diplomat. She was appointed by President Barack Obama as Ambassador to Hungary in 2010. She is a lifelong 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.