Running Scared in Elk Grove - Darren Suen's 2020 California Northstate University, by-district problem

If there is one thing every self-respecting candidate for elected office has in common, it is bragging. The bragging can come in many forms, but there is one type that each candidate shares and that is boosting how much money they have raised.

In fact, money - the mother's milk of politics - is one of the main determining factors in presidential elections. One of the factors in the 2020 Democratic candidates are allowed to participate in future official presidential debates will be based on how much cash they have raised.

Money first - ideas be damned!



Money is crucial, even in local elections and candidates love bragging about how much they have. As an example of money's importance, with a little more than one year until he seeks reelection, Elk Grove Councilmember Darren Suen has ramped up his fundraising activities.

Last week several real estate developers with interests in Elk Grove and labor unions held a fundraiser for Suen (see video below). Though itself not unusual for an incumbent to raise briefcases full of cash from developers, there are a few things worth noting.

First, Suen is the type of pol who cannot resist posting selfies of himself, even when it is not appropriate like he did last summer when posing during the funeral procession for fallen officer Tara O'Sullivan. For last week's fundraiser, as far as we can see, there is not a single word or picture on Suen's social media pages about the money he raised or his supporters.

Perhaps the more significant aspect of Suen's fundraiser is that it could point to the electoral problem that has developed for himself. Suen is faced with many District 1 voters who oppose his support of the controversial California Northstate Univesity project.

If the city is compelled to hold by-district elections, which Suen and city council colleagues Steve Detrick, Pat Hume, and Stephanie Nguyen strenuously oppose, he will have to face a large number of angry voters, particularly in the vote-rich Stonelake and Lakeside neighborhoods. If the current at-large system is maintained through the 2020 elections cycle, Democrat Suen can brush aside voters in his district, continue to collect money from California Northstate University and focus on more conservative, Republican voters in areas like rural Elk Grove, who want to maintain the current system. 

Regardless, Suen will probably end the year with over $100,000 in cash, has no known opponents in the 2020 contest, and still has to be considered the odds-on favorite to win the race, be it by-district or at large. Nonetheless, for a person who loves plastering his selfies on Facebook, his silence and absence of pictures could be indicative that he is scared of what might happen in a by-district election.   


Copyright by Elk Grove News © 2019. All right reserved.










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3 comments

Capt. Benjamin Willard said...

Just like he did on the then-controversial vote on the Costco-Pappas taxpayer funded incentive, let's not forget that Mr. Suen skipped out on the recent public financing vote, the first and only vote to date, on California Northstate University.

Yes, Mr. Suen seems to cower on any vote that might upset voters. In my book, that equate to a coward.

Eye on Elk Grove said...

Who takes a selfie like this at what should have been a somber time to honor a fallen officer? This wasn't a party Darren Suen!

And isn't Stephanie Nguyen's husband a police officer? She should have known better.

Randy Bekker said...

Lots of people that day prior or after the precession took selfies or pictures including our group. It was an honor as a citizen to show support an show our community support. I am not sure why one complains unless they choose to do so. My question did you also show your support on the blvd? Did you wave the Thin Blue Line Flag? It was a proud day for our city to back those that serve an protect us. Nothing wrong with a selfie!

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