Local police and firefighter unions last week endorsed Elk Grove Vice Mayor Darren’s run for mayor.
He is challenging incumbent Steve Ly in this November’s election.
Supporting Suen in his bid to become the city’s next mayor are the Elk Grove Police Officers Association (EGPOA) and Sacramento Area Firefighters, Local 522.
Suen told the Citizen that he feels honored to have received these endorsements.
“I am extremely honored to have the endorsements of the men and women that represent public safety in our city,” he said. “I think public safety is a huge concern for the community, and personally I believe public safety is a critical foundation for a healthy community.
“Just having the support of these men and women in law enforcement and our firefighters, recognizing that I am someone who will make public safety a priority and they trust to make our community safe, I am extremely honored.”
Suen referred to public safety as a “pillar of a prosperous community.”
“If you don’t have folks that feel safe, they’re not going to be out there shopping,” he said. “If you don’t have businesses that feel safe, they’re not going to want to open shop.”
As for why the Elk Grove Police Officers Association endorsed Suen for mayor, Mark Bartley, the association’s president, told the Citizen that it was because of his background of supporting the local police department and its union.
“Darren comes in with a track record of being a supporter of the police department and the POA,” he said. “Darren wants a safe community and he knows how to get a safe community, and that’s through supporting the (police department).”
Chris Schamber, Cosumnes vice president of Sacramento Area Firefighters, Local 522, commented on that organization’s endorsement of Suen.
“Darren has reached out several times to the Cosumnes firefighters with his visions about the growth of the city of Elk Grove,” he said. “As our ability to best serve the community does relate to a coordination of our services with city services, open dialog is a very important aspect.
“Additionally, while the city of Elk Grove does not provide fire or medical services, they have the responsibility to appropriately support the city police department to ensure public safety. With Vice Mayor Suen’s past support of local law enforcement and his current endorsement from (EGPOA), it is our belief he will be the best candidate to continue to support our city police officers.”
EGPOA represents more than 200 public safety professionals serving residents of the city. Local 522 represents more than 1,800 firefighters in the Sacramento region, including the Cosumnes Community Services District (CSD) firefighters who serve Elk Grove and Galt.
The EGPOA endorsed mayoral candidate Kevin Spease in the 2016 election over Ly, which prompted him to accuse the organization of making a “backroom deal” with his opponent during a Citizen interview.
Asked to comment on Suen’s recent endorsements, Ly praised public safety professionals.
“Politics aside, I have always and will continue to support the brave folks who put their lives on the line every day,” he said. “I admire them.”
The vice mayor mentioned some of his other more notable endorsements, including the entire City Council, all five city planning commissioners, Elk Grove school board President Nancy Chaires Espinoza, and school board trustees Bobbie Singh-Allen and Chet Madison.
Suen explained why he believes he is the best candidate for mayor.
“I enjoy the work, I enjoy meeting with people, listening to their concerns and then using my experience and skill sets to try to help alleviate their concerns,” he said. “It’s anything ranging from big issues like traffic and planning to smaller issues like their neighbors fence being encroached too close to their home or a problem with their billing statements. I just try to help as much as I can.”
Reprinted from Elk Grove Citizen
By Lance Armstrong Citizen Staff Writer