December 5, 2017 - The California Federation of Teachers Endorses Eleni Kounalakis for Lieutenant Governor


The dual endorsement by the teachers’ union adds to the momentum of Kounalakis’ bid for Lt. Governor

San Francisco – Today, the California Federation of Teachers formally endorsed Eleni Kounalakis for Lieutenant Governor. The union represents 120,000 teachers and educational employees across California. In their statement, they cited Kounalakis’ commitment to expanding access to education, affordable college, and economic security for all Californians.

“We are proud to support Eleni Kounalakis for Lieutenant Governor,” said CFT President Josh Pechthalt. “Eleni will be a champion for students and educational employees from early childhood through the university system because she believes in the power of education. She knows it is essential to support and fund our public education system and to build strong campus communities. We look forward to working with Eleni Kounalakis to build a stronger California together.”

“I am honored to receive the endorsement of the California Federation of Teachers,” said Kounalakis. “Educators are American heroes because they are giving future generations all they need to excel. As Lt. Governor I will work to ensure our policies reflect our commitment to teachers and give opportunities to students throughout California. Quality and affordable education from Pre-K through post grad should be our top priority. Teachers should also be able to live and work in their communities and as Lt. Governor, I look forward to working with leaders in the CFT to create policies that enhance the lives and education of all Californians.”

Kounalakis comes armed with a growing list of endorsements from prominent Democratic elected officials and organizations, like U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, EMILY’s List, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, 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, Assemblymembers 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