6th Dist. Council Candidate Suely Saro Raises Early $40k To Unseat Incumbent Dee Andrews Who Lists Big Name Endorsers But Not Big Bucks Yet; Cambodian-American Community Candidate Steve Meng Also Raising Sums
|(August 4, 2019, 12:40 p.m.) -- Suely Saro was a field district representative for state Senator Ricardo Lara (D, LB-southeast L.A. County). Following Lara's Nov. 2018 election as statewide Insurance Commissioner, Dr. Saro endorsed Lara's (and Mayor Garcia's) choice to succeed him, 1st dist. Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez. Dr. Saro (Ed.D) then exited LB's Mayor-appointed/Council approved "Citizen Police Complaint Comm'n" and in Feb. 2019 announced her candidacy to unseat 6th dist. Council incumbent (since 2007) Dee Andrews.
LB's 6th Council district spans South Wrigley, LB's Poly High neighborhood and "Cambodia Town." As with all Councilmembers, the 6th dist. Councilmember has a co-equal vote on matters that affect LB residents citywide, including budget priorities, taxpayer services, City Hall spending, land use and development decisions and setting City policies
Dr. Saro swiftly began raising money. Dr. Saro tapped LB's politically awakening Cambodian-American community and other LB politically connected sources and by June 30 had collected $43,295 in campaign contributions, spent $10,526 and had $39,700 in the bank with outstanding debts of $6,932.
Dr. Saro's early campaign themes have steered clear of criticizing policies advocated by Mayor Garcia and implemented (mainly without dissent) by Council incumbent Andrews. Dr. Saro's early campaign contributors include (LBREPORT.com descriptions in parentheses below):
To view Dr. Saro's complete list of campaign contributors, click here.
Dr. Saro was born in a Thai refugee camp to parents who fled the Cambodian genocide, resettled in L.A. and later moved to LB. She earned a Master's degree (Public Administration/CSULB) and an Ed.D degree in Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne. Dr, Saro was the first Cambodian American Executive Director of Khmer Girls in Action, joined the Health Access Project at Asians Americans Advancing Justice Los Angeles and serves as Board Chair of the Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) Professional Network in Long Beach.
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But Dr. Saro isn't the only candidate with Cambodian community roots in the race.
Steve Meng was born in Cambodia, escaped the Khmer Rouge, earned a B.A. and CSULB, served as President/VP/Secretary of the Cambodian Student Association at LBCC and President/ VP of the Cambodian Student Society at CSULB. He his online bio says he's served as an officer or on the boards of groups in these capacities: President/VP/Board Member/Council Coordinator (CAM-CC) for the Cambodian Coordinating Council (CAM-CC), Board Member of the Cambodian New Year Parade Committee/Grand Marshal of the parade, Vice-Chair of the Asian/Pacific Islander Advisory Board to the Police Chief of Long Beach. He currently serves as a small business loan officer/business consultant with the Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment in Los Angeles (past 10 years.)
Mr. Meng's campaign reported collecting $2,541 as of June 30 and has $2,280 in the bank with $343 in debts.
Incumbent Andrews (chosen by his Council colleagues as their Vice Mayor in July 2018) has listed the following endorsers (source: Andrews campaign):
Andrews hadn't begun raising campaign funds in earnest when the reporting period ended June 30. His campaign received $800 in total: $400 from lobbyist Matt Knabe (June 28) and $400 from Mr. Knabe's firm Englander Public Affairs (June 30.) Andrews made a $100 loan to his campaign, spent $811 of the total sums on expenses and as of June 30 his campaign had $68 in the bank.
Candidate Craig Ursuy recently filed a Statement of Organization on July 2 (no sums reported raised prior to June 30.) His campaign website indicates he's an Adjunct Professor at Santa Ana College teaching International Marketing and Global Entrepreneurship.
Candidates Ana Arce and Sharifah Hardie have filed Candidate Intention Statements but not yet Statements of Organization.
If no candidate receives over 50%+1 if the vote in March 2020, the top two finishers proceed to a November 2020 runoff.
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