Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election
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United States

U.S. House of RepresentativesCandidate for District 48

Photo of Tony Zarkades

Tony Zarkades

Airline Pilot
1,281 votes (0.7%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • A national $15/hr minimum wage. The current minimum wage is a poverty wage. In 1968, one hour of minimum wage pay could buy 5 gallons of gas, today it buys only two.
  • A top tax rate of 52% on income over 500K. The wealth and income gap in this country is disgraceful. The top tax rate under the Eisenhower Administration was 90%.
  • A national ban on magazines than hold more than 10 rounds. Mass shootings are a scourge in this country. I’m a long time gun owner and hunter, but no ordinary citizen needs or has a right to own weapons of war.



Profession:Pilot at American Airlines - 737 aircraft
Pilot, American Airlines/American Eagle Airlines (1999–current)
Executive Committee, American Legion Post 133 — Elected position (2000–2009)
Chairman, Neighborhood Improvement Advisory Committee, City of Salem Massachusetts — Appointed position (1995–1998)
Captain, United States Marine Corps, Commissioned a Second Lieutenant by the Secretary of the Navy — Appointed position (1985–1995)


University of Massachusetts at Amherst BS from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, College of Natural Resources - Forestry (1987)

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California Education Fund (5)

What financing method(s) would you support to repair or improve roads, rails, ports, airports, the electrical grid and other infrastructure in the U.S.?
Answer from Tony Zarkades:

Higher taxes on income over 500K. Bonds at the Federal and State level. I do not support privatization of public infrastructure.

What programs or legislation, if any, would you support to help Americans of all ages secure affordable health care?
Answer from Tony Zarkades:

I support single payer, Medicare for all health insurance paid for with employment taxes.

Describe an immigration policy that you would support if presented to the House.
Answer from Tony Zarkades:

The Dream Act should be passed immediately. I also support a path to citizenship for all undocumented residents who have not committed a serious crime or been convicted of drunk driving or other unsafe activity.

I favor building an Ellis Island type facility on our southern boarder to process people into the country.

I favor the institution of national Identification Cards for all American citizens and residents.

What programs or legislation would you support to meet the water needs of Californians and the federal water project infrastructure in California?
Answer from Tony Zarkades:

First, we should focus on conservation and recycling.

The project to build tunnels to bring water from Northern California has my support.

I support a national project to create a system of pipelines and pumping stations to move water around the country from areas that have too much water and flooding to areas that are in drought and have low storage levels.

According to a "Civility In America” survey, 75% of Americans believe that the U.S. has a major civility problem. If you are elected what will do to address this?
Answer from Tony Zarkades:

Impeach the current president.

Who gave money to this candidate?


Total money raised: $2,336

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

Landsberg Inc

More information about contributions

By State:

District of Columbia 100.00%
California 0.00%
Massachusetts 0.00%

By Size:

Large contributions (78.55%)
Small contributions (21.45%)

By Type:

From organizations (100.00%)
From individuals (0.00%)
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.

Political Beliefs

Position Papers

Gender Equality


The life and contributions of Billie Jean King and women in my life.

Who knows who the first woman to win the Presidential Medal of Freedom is?

It was tennis champion and human rights activist Billie Jean King - awarded by President Obama in 2009 for her decades long fight for gender equality, LGBTQ rights, and Title IX funding. My daughter who played water polo in high school is a direct beneficiary of her work. 

I recently watch the movie Battle of the Sexes which told the story of her famous match with 55 year old, and former men’s tennis champion Bobby Riggs. I remember the actual match, watching it on TV with my cousin Joni at my Aunt Tina’s house in Peabody, MA. I was seven years old. The movie made me think of all the important women in my life. Starting with my dear departed mother who bore me and raised me and who I miss dearly. Then my two grandmothers and godmother, who were such a strong presence in my life - much more so than my grandfathers who were past or aged before I was born. I thought of all my beloved aunts, and how much happiness they brought into my life. Then of course came my wife, Jennifer, who I’ll be married to 25 years this June, all the ups and downs we’ve gone through together, raising two children, paying the bills, and facing all the challenges that come at you in life. The immense support she has given me over the years. Finally, there’s my only daughter, Kara, who I am so proud of and is becoming a grown woman herself as well as a good citizen and a leader in her own right. All these women, who influenced me as a child and share my life today, were so important to me and who I have become.

Billie Jean King fought for equality the same way the Founders put down a marker for equality, for all people, all over the world. Male and female, black and white, gay or straight. We have all inherited the blessings of liberty that comes with being an American, and we must continue to strive, without fail, to make this country a more perfect union. Just as the Framers had declared. So today I say thank you Billie Jean - thank you for doing your part, not as a woman but as a great American!


Black lives Matter


The fight for equality in this country is not nearly over.

Some of my fellow Legionaries have expressed outrage over recent events at NFL games, particularly the taking of a knee, or other forms of protest, during the playing of the National Anthem. I support the players actions and it reminded me of a similar act many years ago that I have always been impressed by. In 1939, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt resigned her membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution heritage association because they refused to allow Marian Anderson, a renowned opera singer, to use their hall for a concert event being held in Washington D.C. because she was black. The DAR’s refusal to grant Ms. Anderson the use of Constitution Hall, Mrs. Roosevelt’s resignation from the DAR in protest, and the resulting concert at the Lincoln Memorial combined into a watershed moment in civil rights history, bringing national attention to the country’s color barrier as no other event had previously done. The two ladies remained friends for the rest of Mrs. Roosevelt’s life. Marian Anderson continued to sing in venues around the world, including singing the National Anthem at President Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961.

I first referred to this significant act of moral courage by Mrs. Roosevelt years ago when my same American Legion Post was attempting to block sponsoring a local high school boy to attend Boys State because he had stated he did not believe in god during the interview process. I and the other members of the interviewing panel chose the boy because he stood out as one of the best applicants. He was intelligent, knowledgeable about government and he was well spoken. But some members objected over religious beliefs, or lack thereof in this case. I defended the panel’s decision at the next post meeting and wrote about the Marian Anderson episode in our Post Newsletter. Our choice was upheld in a vote and a resolution was passed prohibiting asking about or qualifying Boys State (and Girls State) candidates based on religion ever again. I had never been so proud of my fellow Legionaries.

Unfortunately, 75 years after the Anderson episode, racism is still an issue in this country. Blacks are still fighting for equality and their civil rights and there are still many white people denying that a problem even exists. For those who can interact with authorities, such as the police, and feel confident they will be treated with respect or at least get justice from the courts and their government officials later, the Black Lives Matter movement may seem unnecessary.

But when so many blacks end up dead after routine interactions with police, and then the police are not held to account, taking a knee during the National Anthem to bring attention to this injustice is not only appropriate but it is the American thing to do. It is the patriotic thing to do. It is like resigning your membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution. Thank you Mrs. Roosevelt and thank you to Colin Kaepernick and all you other patriots that chose to stand (or kneel) for justice.


Videos (3)

— May 10, 2018 Tonyzforcongress

Tony Z shows his comfort with guns while rejecting the National Rifle Association and its leader Wayne LaPierre.

— May 15, 2018 Aliso Niguel democratic club

A quick video about myself for those who wish to learn more about me as a candidate.

Tony Z's Stance On Gun Control — May 15, 2018 Tony Zarkades

Tony Z speaks his mind and shows you how he feels about the NRA.

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