Darren Suen & Stephanie Nguyen Campaign Together
Vice-Mayor Darren Suen and City Council Member Stephanie Nguyen launched their respective campaigns for Mayor of Elk Grove and City Council Member at a joint launch event on Sunday August 26. Suen is challenging incumbent Mayor Steve Ly for the position to lead our city. Community activist Tracie Stafford is also running for Mayor of Elk Grove. Stephanie Nguyen is seeking to be re-elected to her position representing District 4. Cosumnes Community Services District Board Member Orlando Fuentes is challenging Nguyen. Pat Hume is also up for re-election for District 2 and is being challenged by Andres Ramos.
Over 200 people showed up in support of Suen and Nguyen, many wearing Darren Suen for Mayor shirts. California State Assemblyman Jim Cooper, EGUSD Board Members Bobbie Singh-Allen and Nancy Chaires Espinoza, City Council Member Steve Detrick, and Planning Commissioners Mackenzie Wieser and Frank Maita also showed up to show their support and endorse both Suen and Nguyen. All City Planning Commissioners have publicly endorsed Suen and Nguyen.
In addition to the aforementioned endorsements of those who attended, Darren Suen has also been endorsed by: the Elk Grove Police Officers Association, Cosumnes Firefighters Union, Local 522, the Sacramento Association of Realtors, Region Business Coalition, Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce, Laborers 185, and IBEW 340, City Council Member Pat Hume, Cosumnes Community Services Directors Gil Albiani, Rich Lozano, and Jim Luttrell, Elk Grove Unified School District Board Member Chet Madison, Gubernatorial Candidate John Chiang, State Controller Betty Yee, State Senator Dr. Richard Pan, Sacramento County Supervisor (Retired) Jimmie Yee, SMUD Board President Nancy Bui-Thompson, Sacramento Vice-Mayor Steve Hansen, Sacramento City Council Members Rick Jennings, Eric Guerra, Steve Hansen, and Jay Schenirer, Sacramento School Board Member Darrell Woo, and County Board of Supervisor Patrick Kennedy.
In addition to the aforementioned endorsements of those who attended, Stephanie Nguyen has also been endorsed by: Elk Grove Police Officers Association, Sacramento Region Business Association, Sacramento Building Trades, Laborers Local 185, City Council Member Pat Hume, State Senator Dr. Richard Pan, Board of Equalizer Fiona Ma, County Board of Supervisors Patrick Kennedy and Sue Frost, District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Sacramento Vice-Mayor Steve Hansen, Sacramento City Council Members Rick Jennings, Eric Guerra, Steve Hansen, and Jay Schenirer, Allen Warren, Angelique Ashby, and Larry Carr, Sacramento School Board Member Darrell Woo, Rancho Cordova City Council Members Garrete Gatewood and Donald Terry, Los Rios School Board Trustee Deborah Ortiz, Sacramento County Office of Education Trustee Bina Lefkovitz, and SMUD Board Members Nancy Bui-Thompson, Genevieve Shiroma, and Dave Tamayo.
Controversy With Steve Ly
Steve Ly secured the endorsement of the Elk Grove-South County Democratic Club. However, the endorsement process was controversial because people who had recently joined the club were allowed to vote. Ly had appeared to bring a lot of people to the June and July meetings in order to secure the endorsement of the club. But many, including mayoral candidate Tracie Stafford and the past club president felt that the democratic process was being circumverted. Also, it was felt that candidates may not have been given enough time to prepare for an endorsement vote.
It is a well known fact that that Mayor Steve Ly is not supported in his re-election bid by the other four Elk Grove City Council Members. Recent City Council meetings have underscored mounting tensions between the rest of the City Council Members and Mayor Steve Ly. Last week, an email from Stephanie Nguyen came to light which contradicted Steve Ly’s claim in an Elk Grove Citizen article that he helped to bring Costco to the City of Elk Grove.
Controversy with Orlando Fuentes
Orlando Fuentes has not yet finished out his term on the Cosumnes Community Services District Board. Therefore, Nguyen supporters feel that Fuentes is doing the community a disservice by not finishing his term and going after the position of the only woman on the Elk Grove City Council. There are no other woman running for Elk Grove City Council.
Jim Cooper’s Words
California State Assemblyman Jim Cooper spoke at the campaign launch event and emphasized the importance of good relations between the state leaders and the leaders of Elk Grove. He mentioned that this relationship helped the City of Elk Grove obtain a $5 million dollar grant for the homeless.
Steve Detrick’s Words
Steve Detrick is the only Republican on the Elk Grove City Council and also spoke at the event. Detrick mentioned his political party affiliation but also stressed the importance of bipartisan relationships. Both Suen and Nguyen received criticism for previously endorsing Anne Marie Schubert for District Attorney.
Stephanie’s campaign emphasizes her current work in fighting to develop the City of Elk Grove and finding creative ways to effectively and efficiently implement tax dollars. She’s proud that our crime rates are low, our budget is balanced, and that we have been able to bring new businesses like Costco to Elk Grove. Nguyen cites homelessness and traffic as issues she intends to continue to tackle. Furthermore, Nguyen pledges to keep working hard to build a safer and stronger city where all businesses and families can thrive.
Darren’s campaign emphasizes his continued work as a community leader where he builds trusting relationships that can accommodate difficult conversations. Suen is professionally trained in the land use, transportation, and water resources professions. In the past he has championed investment in affordable housing, pushed for entertainment centers, supported businesses by ensuring efficient and predictable city processes, worked to obtain funding for new transportation, worked with bicycle advocates to make our city safer for bicyclists, advocated entertainment options for teens, supported causes such as the Elk Grove Food bank and Chicks In Crisis, and led community engagements on implicit bias. Consequently, Suen hopes to to continue the work of building a sustainable and balanced city that is safe and inclusive, with employment centers connected by trails and supported by workforce training. Also, he hopes for an effective transportation system, and a fun nurturing environment to grow up and plant long-term roots. Important to note, Suen is running for Mayor to ensure that we build an Elk Grove that works for every family – no matter what neighborhood or zip code they live.
Since both Vice-Mayor Darren Suen and City Council Member Stephanie Nguyen have endorsed each other and are campaigning together, it is clear they are a force to be reckoned with. As evidenced by the fact that quite a number of community leaders are stepping forward to publicly support both Suen and Nguyen, it is clear that Mayor Steve Ly and community activist Tracie Stafford, and Stephanie’s challenger Orlando Fuentes will have their work cut out for them. As far as the Elk Grove City Council is concerned, this election will be very interesting to watch.