NEW YORK. – The bid for a seat in the State Assembly of Paul Vagianos, the only Greek-American candidate in New Jersey in the 2015 elections, managed to engage the interest of both politicians and voters. Vagianos is the Democratic candidate for the 40th District of New Jersey, running in tandem with fellow Democrat Christine Ordway in the two-seat district. On November 3 they will face the Republican incumbents David Russo and Scot Rumana.
On October 26 at 7:30 PM Paul Vagianos, who is Greek-American, and his running mate will have their first televised debate against Russo and Rumana. During the interview he gave to TNH, Vagianos expressed his satisfaction about the excitement that his candidacy has stirred among the Greek-Americans.
Former president of the Federation of Hellenic American Organizations of New Jersey Andreas Comodromos told TNH that Greek-American support for Vagianos is important because since 2008 when Steve Corodemus stepped out of politics there hasn’t been a Greek-American in elective office in the states. Corodemus, a Republican, was elected to the 11th District in 1992 and served until 2008. “Pauls’ candidacy provides a unique opportunity for the Greek-Americans of New Jersey to gain an authentic representative in the State Assembly. Paul is a businessman, and he knows better than anybody the issues and the challenges restaurateurs and businessmen have to deal with. We have to support his campaign and contribute and at the same time we should participate en masse in the November 3 elections,” Comodromos said.
Vagianos pointed out that his collaboration with Christine Ordway had come as a surprise to the Democratic Party leadership, but over time they were convinced that they are both highly qualified and have a shot at changing things in the 40th District and win it. He said the upcoming publication of a poll will change everything and the headway Vagianos and Ordway are making will become clear.
Vagianos is a second generation Greek-American. His late father, Evangelos Vagianos, was born in Kardamyla of Chios, while his mother Stella Constant was born in America and has roots in Thessaloniki. They met at a dance and after a few months they married and had three children: Michael Vagianos, who lives in Boston, Christina Vagianos-Papavassileiou and 58 years ago they had Paul.
Paul graduated from the Law School of Rutgers University and went on to become an attorney. A few years ago he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and bought the restaurant “It’s Greek To Me” in Ridgewood, NJ. Vagianos is married to Eugenia Bogol and they have two girls, Kassandra and Alana.
Comodromos emphasized that Vagianos is the only candidate who is a businessman and at the same time he is a solid family man. He also pointed out that he is also president of the Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce. When asked about the reasons he decided to run for office, Vagianos pointed out that there is nobody in the State Assembly who comes from the world of business and is in a position to balance the budget.
Referring to the economy of the State of New Jersey, he stressed that it is one of the richest states, but it ranks in the last ten spots when it comes to important performance indices among the fifty states of America. He said that in the next few days he and Ordway will announce their policy proposals for the 40th District which will include specific measures and proposals for economic recovery.
The 40th District includes also the parish of Saint Nicholas in Wyckoff, New Jersey, which fully supports Vagianos’s candidacy. Referring to his campaign he emphasized that a lot of people knew his father, who had six restaurants, and reminds his audiences that he and his father share the same background, which they also share with the rest of the Greek immigrants who have come to America for a chance for a better life and who have lived the American dream.