Is a proxy war brewing in Elk Grove between Singh-Allen, Nguyen - Looking out for Number 1?

Ostensibly, the Elk Grove mayor and city council members are a big family happy. You could easily have that impression if you were to view it through their vote records, which are almost always unanimous.

Beyond their near unanimity on the dais, the picture becomes murky. This is especially true when it comes to political endorsements.  

Let's look at the race for the Elk Grove City Council District 2 seat as a reference point. After 16 years, Pat Hume is not seeking re-election as he is running for the District 5 Sacramento County Board of Supervisors seat that Don Nottoli is vacating after 28 years.

When Hume announced his candidacy, in quick procession, Cosumnes Community Services District Director Rod Brewer and business owner Felipe Martin entered the race. A late entry was Michelle Kile, who was a 2020 candidate for Elk Grove Mayor but dropped out when Singh-Allen entered the race. 

Brewer, a Democrat, was an early favorite, given he has won three city-wide races as a CCSD director before the district went to by-district elections. A big boost for Brewer has been the support from his longtime friend Singh-Allen. 

Notwithstanding Democrat Singh-Allen's endorsement, Brewer has not earned the support of the other two Democratic City Council members, Vice Mayor Darren Suen and Councilmember Stephanie Nguyen.  

Conversely, Martin, identified as Democratic, has not announced any endorsements. However, sometimes actions speak louder than an endorsement.

Next week Martin is hosting a fundraiser for Nguyen at one of his businesses. And according to financial disclosures filed this week, Nguyen has received $4,900 in donations from Martin.

While neither has issued an endorsement, it is pretty clear Martin is supporting Nguyen, who will likely return the favor. 

In another last-minute development last week, a work associate of Nguyen at Asian Resources Inc., where she is the executive director, Geizi Bermudez, entered the District 4 Elk Grove City Council race. The other candidate, Elk Grove City Planning Commissioner Sergio Robles, was endorsed by Singh-Allen, and of significance, Nguyen.

Although not verified, Nguyen will reportedly endorse both candidates, which in the broadest sense, hurts Roble. But as we have opined in the past, endorsements are often given more significance than their worth.

Nevertheless, the fact that Nguyen is supporting two candidates in opposition to Singh-Allen indicates there could be a proxy war using Brewer and Martin as pawns between them. It will be noteworthy to see who Suen, viewed as malleable, endorses as that will reveal who has more significant influence, Nguyen or Singh-Allen.

So while the city council acts as a team on the dais, especially when it benefits their political patrons, when it comes to their interpersonal rivalries, they look out for Number 1. 

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Capt. Benjamin Willard said...

If I am not mistaken, Ms. Nguyen and Ms. Singh-Allen have both endorsed each other's candidacy. Aside from their battle over the city council races, perhaps the more significant battle will be for the soul of Mr. Suen.

As a go-along-to-get-along person, Mr. Suen will probably align with Mayor Singh-Allen. Ms. Nguyen will not be returning to the city council, so being a man of limited courage to stake out his own identity, he will side with the mayor.

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