In their bids for re-election, Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly and Elk Grove City Council Member Darren Suen are the top recipients, respectively, in campaign contributions, according to their recently released campaign disclosures for 2019.
Ranking third among the contribution recipients in city elections during the same period is City Council candidate and former Elk Grove Planning Commissioner Kevin Spease.
Ly, who is seeking his third term as the city’s mayor, received $142,940 in contributions. His expenditures for the same period were $71,754.
Ly expressed appreciation in the support he has received for his campaign.
“I am honored and humbled by the tremendous amount of support for my third term as mayor of this beautiful city,” he said. “As we approach the election date in November, I am committed to raising the necessary resources to share my message with Elk Grove residents. While we, as a city, have accomplished much, there is still much more to achieve.”
A review of Ly’s contributions shows that his top contributors were the California Heart Medical Associates at $16,000, and the California Conference Board Amalgamated at $12,500.
The mayor also received $18,000 from Alvin Cheung, president and CEO of California Northstate University (CNU), which intends to build a $750 million to $800 million, 12-story hospital in Elk Grove’s Stonelake neighborhood by 2022.
Dr. Gordon A. Wong, infectious disease specialist with CNU, contributed $2,500 to Ly’s campaign.
The Political Action Committee (PAC) of Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 447 donated $7,500 to Ly, while the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council PAC contributed $3,500 to the mayor’s campaign.
Kamilos Companies provided $8,618 to cover fundraising event expenses for Ly. That contribution covered the mayor’s birthday party fundraising event at Sacramento’s Sutter Club on Nov. 22, 2019.
Challenging Ly in this year’s mayoral election will be Michelle Kile and Justin Brown, who have not reported any contributions or expenditures.
City Council District 1
Suen, who is seeking re-election to retain his District 1 seat, reported $74,581 in contributions for 2019. During the same period, his expenditures were $18,268.
He told the Citizen that his contributions came from supporters who appreciate his experience and abilities as a leader.
“I appreciate the broad-based, local support from the Sacramento region,” he said. “Unfortunately, it costs money to get your message out and I appreciate those that appreciate my professional experience and my decision making and my ability to understand the issues that are significant for the city. Their support helps me get my message out.”
Suen received individual $7,500 contributions from Willdan Group, California Conference Board Amalgamated, ABR Investments, and the Rental Housing Association of Sacramento Valley.
Two other large contributions, in the amount of $5,000, were received by Suen from Angelo K. Tsakopoulos and Affiliated Entities, and the Committee for Home Ownership of the North State Building Industry Association.
Suen was also the recipient of $2,000 from the California Real Estate PAC and $1,000 from Laborers Local 185 PAC.
Ali Moua, who will challenge Suen this November, held his campaign kickoff event on Jan. 25. He has not reported any contributions or expenditures.
City Council District 3
With Elk Grove Vice Mayor Steve Detrick’s announcement last December that he will not run for re-election, District 3 will be represented by someone other than Detrick for the first time since 2008.
After announcing his decision to not seek re-election, Detrick endorsed Spease to become his successor.
Spease, who resigned from the planning commission last December, is the top recipient of campaign contributions in the District 3 race. He reported that he received $16,700 in contributions and spent $3,818 in 2019.
Spease acknowledged the importance of his fundraising events and expressed appreciation for his supporters.
“I am fortunate to have had two successful fundraising events so far, as they have started great momentum,” he said. “I am humbled by the support I have received and I am working even harder to expand and strengthen my base of support with small businesses and residents in Elk Grove. My committee is working on an even bigger event in late March.”
Spease’s largest contributions were in the amount of $2,500 each, and came from Village Properties Operating Company, Jeffrey Adkins, owner of the Elk Grove-based Future Energy Corp., and Susan Cheung, an analyst with the state of California.
He additionally received contributions from Reynolds & Brown, $2,000, and The Town Planner Publishing Concepts, $1,330.
Maureen Craft, who is among the four candidates vying for the District 3 seat, received $225 in contributions and spent $1,376 in 2019.
Craft told the Citizen that she appreciates those who contribute to her campaign.
“As I kickoff my campaign, I appreciate all of the people who have and will contribute to my campaign,” she said. “I will have an event. It will be a campaign kickoff event on Feb. 20.”
The other District 3 candidates, Lynn Wheat and Amandeep Singh, filed paperwork to run for this seat, but have not reported any contributions or expenditures to the city clerk’s office.