contribution," he said.
After losing his bid for the Republican nomination in the 43rd
Assembly District race in 1996, Missakian is back as the party's
candidate for that same seat.
His desire to enter politics came as a surprise to his mother, Pat
"I never dreamed he'd run for office," she said.
Though he was an outgoing boy, Pat said Missakian has always been a
very private person.
"Even today, I don't find out anything unless I read it in the paper,"
But Missakian said he has been interested in politics since he was a
"That came out slowly and it was nurtured over time," he said.
Missakian remembers getting his first copy of Lincoln's second
inaugural address as an adolescent during a family trip to Sacramento.
As a sixth-grader at Verdugo Wilson Elementary School, he ran for
The "Uncle Craig wants your vote" slogan was not enough to get him
But Missakian graduated from Glendale High School with no clear idea
of what he wanted to do with his life.
He spent one year at Glendale Community College and one at the Otis
College of Art and Design in Los Angeles before going onto to USC for a
bachelor's degree in political science.
While at Georgetown Law School in Washington, D.C., Missakian became
an intern in then-Sen. Pete Wilson's office.
The experience, he said, strengthened his desire to go into public
"Everyone there was young, committed, idealistic," he said.
Pat will tell you the turning point for Missakian came during his four
years in the L.A. County District Attorney's Office, where he spent a
year prosecuting juvenile court cases in South Central L.A.
"It just bothered him that the laws weren't doing what they should be
doing," she said.
Missakian said his time in South Central emphasized for him the
importance of such things as jobs and safe schools.
Attorney Jack DiCanio saw how hard it was for Missakian, a longtime
friend, to sometimes try children as adults.
"Craig really feels like people have to take responsibility for their
actions," DiCanio said. "That's a tough position," he said, but to
maintain it also "shows a lot of character and integrity."
Running for office has also been tough for Missakian.
"There's a lot of work to do," he said.
But Missakian believes the effort is worthwhile.
"When my life is said and done, I would like to be remembered as a guy
that when he saw a problem, stopped to help fix it," he said.
THE MISSAKIAN FILE
* NAME: Craig Missakian.
* AGE: 40.
* RESIDENCE: Glendale.
* FAMILY: Single
* POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Missakian worked as an intern for then-Sen.
Pete Wilson. He ran for the Republican nomination for the 43rd Assembly
District seat in 1996.