March 5, 2018 - National Women’s Political Caucus of California and California National Organization for Women Announce Endorsements of Eleni Kounalakis for Lieutenant Governor of California
Women’s political leadership organizations rally behind Kounalakis’ campaign for Lt. Governor
San Francisco, CA — Today, the National Women’s Political Caucus and the California National Organization for Women endorsed Eleni Kounalakis for Lt. Governor, joining other major women’s leadership organizations in supporting Kounalakis’ bid for Lt. Governor.
“Eleni is the best choice for Lt. Governor,” said Kolieka Seigle, President, California National Organization for Women. “It is high time for gender parity in positions of leadership especially in California, a state that leads our country forward on issues that affect women like healthcare, immigration, reproductive justice and pay equity. California NOW is proud to endorse Eleni Kounalakis and we look forward to seeing her become the first woman elected Lt. Governor of California.”
“The National Women’s Political Caucus strives to engage more women in our country’s political process,” said Karen Humphrey, President, National Women's Political Caucus of California. “We are thrilled that Eleni Kounalakis is running to be the first woman elected Lt. Governor of California. She is a champion for gender equity, women’s rights, healthcare and education. California’s future will be stronger when we elect more women, and we are proud to support Eleni Kounalakis for Lt. Governor of California.”
“I am so proud to have the endorsements of the National Women’s Political Caucus of California and the California National Organization for Women,” said Kounalakis. “We need more women in elected offices at all levels of government to ensure that our voices are heard. As Lt Governor, I look forward to working with NWPC, NOW, and the many other women’s leadership organizations that are supporting my candidacy to promote equal pay, end sexual harassment in the workplace, and protect a woman’s right to choose.”
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, 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, former State Senator Mark Leno, Assembly members Blanca Rubio and Kevin McCarty, Los Angeles City Councilmembers Gil Cedillo and 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.