Bethesda man enters House of Delegates primary -- Gazette.Net


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This may be his second time at bat, but Hrant Jamgochian, who announced on May 4 that he will once again run for the Maryland House of Delegates in District 16, says he is ready for a home run.

In 2010, Jamgochian lost in a crowded Democratic primary after entering the race late. He placed fifth overall, behind the three winning delegates Bill Frick, Ariana Kelly and Susan Lee and contender Kyle Lierman.

But Jamgochian, 40, said he’s learned his lesson. At his Bethesda house on May 4, which doubles as his campaign headquarters, the Bethesda attorney and health care advocate officially kicked off his campaign for the June 2014 primary, more than a year away.

“I got into the last race so late,” Jamgochian said. “Still, it was humbling to see how many rallied around me.”

Jamgochian, who is the executive director of the Dialysis Patient Citizens and its Education Center, lives with his wife, Lenna, who is pregnant with their first child, and Lenna’s mother.

Past career highlights for Jamgochian include being director of health policy for United Way Worldwide, and serving as government relations director for the American Pharmacists Association and field director for the American Psychological Association.

District 16 is now represented by Sen. Brian Frosh and Dels. Frick, Kelly and Lee. All four are Democrats. But if Frosh and Frick fight it out for attorney general, one delegate seat will open up. And if Lee goes for Frosh’s Senate seat — so will a second.

Jamgochian, whose campaign slogan is “Hard to pronounce, easy to support,” has accumulated a list of endorsements from newspaper editorial boards — such as the Washington Post’s and the Gazette’s in 2010. He’s also got a roster of local and state politicians on his side, such as Attorney General Douglas Gansler, Former Dist. 16 Del. Gil Genn and several council members in the town of Somerset.

Jamgochian listed the main issues of his campaign as education, healthcare and the economy.

“I am really passionate about universal early education,” he said.

A campaign fundraiser is scheduled for June 11 at a not-yet-determined venue, Jamgochian said.

“We want to keep that momentum going from the last race,” he said. “It’s really exciting and incredibly humbling.”

ablum@gazette.net