The Elk Grove South-County Democratic Club recently held its endorsement meeting. At this particular meeting, club members voted on which candidates to endorse for Elk Grove Mayor, City Council Member, and Cosumnes Community Services District.
Seven candidates were present along with club members and the public. All candidates gave a brief speech followed by a Q&A session. Afterwards, the club members voted who to endorse for each political office.
Steve Ly, current Elk Grove Mayor, is running for re-election. Challenging him are Vice-Mayor Darren Suen and community activist Tracie Stafford. Andres Ramos is Challenging Pat Hume for City Council District 2. Orlando Fuentes is challenging Stephanie Nguyen for City Council District 4. Rod Brewer, Jaclyn Moreno, Koi Rivers, and Jerry Braxmeyer are all running for Cosumnes Community Services District. Rod Brewer is running for a third term. There are two positions available on the Cosumnes CSD Board
In his speech, Mayor Steve Ly mentioned the new aquatic center, the new animal shelter, and the senior center and said that he has been pushing for a performing arts center. Ly cited the fact that he came to this country as a refugee and explain that his experiences help him to have pragmatic values. Ly talked about how local politics is important because local politicians become senators, congressmen, and President. He encouraged people to ask him questions during the Q & A session.
Vice-Mayor Darren Suen mentioned his civil engineer background and explained why this would help him lead Elk Grove. He says he’s well versed in transportation, land use planning, water resource and public safety. He is also on the Affordable Housing Committee as well as the organization Uplift Elk Grove. Suen wants to move the city forward by working together across political party lines on both the state and federal level.
In her speech, Tracie Stafford mentioned that she was first in her family to obtain a college degree and that she worked her way up from being a data entry operator to being in senior management in high tech. Also, she started her own business in 2001. She has been an advocate her entire life. Stafford emphasized that she is an activist for equity for women, children, people of color, for the underprivileged, and the seniors. Some of the problems that Stafford sees in Elk Grove are the same as when she first moved here. She sees that the City of Elk Grove, with a bunch of houses and strip malls, needs a vision, and focus, solid leadership. Essentially, she is motivated by the desire to work together with the citizens of Elk Grove to take control of our city, for us and for our children.
In her speech, Jaclyn Moreno says she’s in line with democratic values such as supporting dreamers, single parent healthcare and gun control reform. She has visited community organizations to learn how they partner with CSD. Moreno has also helped register new citizens to vote and believes in by district elections. If elected, she says she will look at CSD and the fire department’s hiring and promoting of people who look like and represent the diversity in Elk Grove.
Results of Club Meeting
After the votes were counted, the results were revealed. Mayor Steve Ly received 70 endorsements while community activist Tracie Stafford received 21 and Vice-Mayor Darren Suen received 7. Andres Ramos received 71 votes for Elk Grove City Council District 2. Orlando Fuentes received 87 votes for Elk Grove City Council District 4. Jaclyn Moreno and Rod Brewer were both endorsed for Cosumnes CSD. Moreno received 85 votes while Brewer received 78. Koi Rivers, another candidate running for Cosumnes CSD received 6.
Important to note, City Council Members Pat Hume and Stephanie Nguyen were not at the club meeting and did not participate in the process. Cosumnes CSD candidate Koi Rivers did complete the questionnaire but did not attend the meeting.
During the June club meeting, controversy arose when a supporter of Mayor Steve Ly suggested doing the endorsement vote and doing away with club protocol. Longtime members as well as political candidates themselves appeared to be caught off-guard by the motion to suspend bylaws. Furthermore, there were concerns that Steve Ly was attempting to “hijack” the democratic process. Past Democratic Elk Grove – South County Club President Dan Schmitt opposed the motion to suspend club bylaws.
Mayor Steve Ly said, “I’m excited to see that the local Democratic club is overwhelmingly in support of my candidacy for me to return as the Mayor of Elk Grove.”
Vice-Mayor Darren Suen was diplomatic and seemed unperturbed by the club endorsement results. He issued the following statement when asked about the meeting. “Congratulations to all the endorsement recipients. However, I believe the majority of Elk Grove shares a greater concern about community issues such as public safety, traffic, and job creation. I am proud to have the public safety and business endorsements, and the endorsement of many community leaders who are concerned about those issues.”
After the meeting Cosumnes CSD candidate Moreno issued the following statement. “I am honored to have received the endorsement of the Elk Grove – South County Democratic Club and grateful for he confidence they have put in me to fully represent them on the CCSD Board.”
It is clear that the next election will be very interesting to watch with regard to the political races in the City of Elk Grove. Be sure to get out and vote in November.