Third Person In, Vice Mayor Darren Suen Formally Enters 2018 Elk Grove Mayoral Race

Vice Mayor Darren Suen (at lectern)  with his wife Denise at his side announces Elk Grove Mayoral
candidacy at the California Northstate Medical University College of Medicine. | 

April 5, 2018 |

In a formal announcement made this afternoon, Elk Grove Vice Mayor Darren Suen formally entered the 2018 Elk Grove mayoral race.

The announcement was made at the California Northstate Medical University College of Medicine which is on the city's westside and in the District 1 area that Suen currently represents as a member of the Elk Grove City Council.

Suen, who was appointed to the city council in 2015 after former council member Jim Cooper vacated the seat following his election to the California Assembly. Suen was easily elected to a full four-year term in 2016.

In his comments, Suen cited his professional experience as a civil engineer, and his knowledge of transportation planning, and water issues as qualifications the city needs for its future growth. Suen also noted the importance of having a mayor who can work with other, higher government entities.

"Our rate of progress will depend on, among other things, a mayor who understands how to navigate within these governing structures, and has the trust and respect of leaders throughout our region," he stated. "I'm excited to take this next step, and with the supporters of the voters of Elk Grove, I hope to take a great leadership role for our city. " 

Also noting the site of the announcement at the privately-owned medical and pharmacy school, Suen said its location in the city could be parlayed into making Elk Grove a biotech hub. 

"At this moment we are standing in front of what could be the city's best economic generator," he noted. "This facility and their owners, working with the right leadership, could balloon into a hub for the biotech industry, bringing in high-wage jobs, and creating an impactful industry right here in this city." 

Along with family members, the audience for Suen's announcement included several elected officials. Among those in attendance who have endorsed his candidacy were  Elk Grove Unified School District trustee Bobbie Singh-Allen, and Elk Grove City members Steve Detrick, Pat Hume, and Stephanie Nguyen.

With Suen's entry into the race, he will be facing incumbent and fellow Democrat Steve Ly, who was elected Mayor in 2016 after winning the District 4 council seat in 2014. Along with Ly, Democrat Tracie Stafford, who also ran in 2016, is vying for the position.

Interestingly, also attending the event was Ly's city-paid intern and political consultant Ty Sorci. Along with recording Suen's speech, Sorci was seen and heard describing media and elected officials in attendance in real-time on his cell phone as the event concluded.

After the formal speech was over, Suen turned to supporters and exhorted their participation and support in his campaign.

"All of you do your part for the community, and I can't do it without you," he said. "It's going to be a great, fun, exciting race, and we're going to win."   

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Capt. Benjamin Willard said...

After watching the video posted here and on Mr. Suen's Facebook page, I will go out on a branch and compare this coming race to the 1988 race between President George H.W. Bush and Gov. Michael Dukakis.

Watching Mr. Suen all I could think about is how he is reminiscent of Mr. Dukakis. Both are well educated, if somewhat emotionally detached technocrats. Undoubtedly intelligent, but not that able to inspire high emotions among their supporters.

In the other corner is Mayor Steve Ly playing President George H.W. Bush. Although Mr. Ly has none of the institutional intelligence of Mr. Bush, they are both on a certain level hollow leaders. While Mr. Bush had his thousand points of light, Mr. Ly has his stronger neighborhoods mantra that he inherited from his predecessor.

One advantage Mr. Ly will have going into this, if the accounts in this story are accurate, he probably has a Lee Atwater in his corner. Mr. Suen better be prepared for a mailbox blitzkrieg on his character and comments, true or not, like he has never experienced.

And yes, I understand there is a third candidate in the race. Unless Ms. Stafford can raise enough money to hire an airplane to fly around town on election day, her chances are slim. Of course she could slip in if Bush and Dukakis bloody each other sufficiently, but I would not place a wager on that proposition.

One last note - Mr. Suen ought to be careful of what he wears when he has his picture taken. Put another way - don't wear any helmets.

Eye on Elk Grove said...

Capt. Willard: Nailed it! And the Dukakis comparison was spot on.

Interesting speech. Darren Suen seemed very nervous, delivered the speech in a monotone and stumbled several times. I didn’t buy what he was selling. Could that be he isn’t all in and not totally committed to running for mayor while being pushed to do so by the three council members standing behind, most assuredly Steve Detrick and Pat Hume (and those who pay attention know Hume is the master puppeteer).

Here is what Suen did not address: Votes by the Elk Grove City Council affect our daily lives and our wallets. A wide range of critical functions, such as planning, waste disposal and infrastructure provision (including roads and bike lanes, parks and sporting grounds, and in most areas sewerage, are delivered by our local government.) However, because basic services aren’t sexy, and the press getting new amenities have been, the cost will be that Mello Roos and/or CFD taxes will be raised year after year while our roads continue to deteriorate.

Suen, of course, did not address the increasing tax issues, the lack of money to fund basic services such as transit service cuts, the millions of taxpayer dollars paid out in lawsuits, while taking credit for everything else under the sun.

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