Election Night’s early results in the Elk Grove City Council races showed that incumbent Darren Suen took a high lead in the Council District 1 election. Kevin Spease, a former Elk Grove planning commissioner, currently tops the five-candidate race for the Council District 3 seat.
This year’s Council races are the first to follow the new “by-district” election system that has voters only choose candidates running in their local Council District. Council members were previously elected by voters across the city.
Suen wins large majority of votes in District 1 race
As of 10 p.m. on Nov. 3, Sacramento County’s elections office reported that Suen led with 68% of the vote in the Council District 1 race, while his opponent, Ali Moua had 30%. These results came from 37% of ballots counted in the county and 100% of precincts reporting.
Council District 1 represents the Laguna West, Stonelake, Lakeside, and central Laguna areas.
The City Council initially appointed Suen to the District 1 seat in 2014 after his predecessor, Jim Cooper was elected to the State Assembly. If he’s declared the victor after the election results are finalized, Suen will enter his third term on the Council.
“I’m incredibly grateful for the amount of support I’ve had,” Suen told the Citizen during a telephone interview on Election Night. “It’s readily apparent with nearly 70% of the votes supporting my campaign.”
Suen was endorsed by his Council colleagues Steve Detrick, Pat Hume, and Stephanie Nguyen while Mayor Steve Ly’s re-election campaign promoted Moua. Ly was previously challenged by Suen in the 2018 mayoral race. In his 2020 campaign, Suen was also supported by the Elk Grove Police Officers Association and the Sacramento Area Firefighters Local 522.
“It’s been an honor to serve since 2014, and I’m looking forward to hitting the ground next year and building a sustainable community, maintaining our public safety, and working on our social equity,” Suen said. “These are exciting times.”
The city council member said that the new by-district election system did not make it simpler for him to campaign, despite that he only had to campaign in a small area instead of across Elk Grove. He explained that he spent the same amount of campaign funds as he did during his 2016 run.
“It was easier in terms of geography, but the amount of outreach in terms of resources we needed to apply – that didn’t seem to change,” Suen said.
Spease leads Council District 3 race
In the five-candidate race for the Elk Grove City Council District 3 seat, former Elk Grove Planning Commissioner Kevin Spease held a 12% lead over Amandeep Singh.
As of press time, Spease had captured 32% of the votes, but was not ready to declare a victory.
Spease told the Citizen during the late evening of Nov. 3 that he felt confident that he would win the election.
“We’re feeling very confident about the position that we’re in,” he said. “It looks very positive. We expect to continue to trend positively throughout the night and the coming days.”
If elected, Spease will succeed Elk Grove Vice Mayor Steve Detrick, who has spent the past 12 years as the council representative of District 3, which covers the Camden area and north Elk Grove’s Power Inn Road area, as well as a part of eastern Laguna.
Detrick, who chose not to run for re-election last December, endorsed Spease as his successor.
Spease, who served on the city’s planning commission from 2014 to 2019, ran for Elk Grove mayor in 2018. He finished in second place behind current mayor, Ly.
Spease said that he was pleased to have high support in his bid to be elected to the City Council.
“I’ve been fortunate to develop community relationships for many years, to have some very strong supporters from across Elk Grove,” he said. “Without the support of so many diverse members of our community, the positive outcome wouldn’t be as evident as it seems to be.”
Spease described his support in the election as an indication that the community is “alive” and desirous of “moving forward.”
He added that he is committed to serving the needs of local voters.
“I will never forget (the voters), that they are the ones that got me here,” he said. “I’ll be certain to make sure that their interests and needs are represented. I’m committed to Elk Grove, I’m committed to the residents who have helped me and I’m looking forward to building a better Elk Grove.”
Spease noted that if he is elected to the council, he plans to “continue to unite Elk Grove” to move the city forward and connect diverse parts of the city.
He mentioned that he desires to assist the city’s government to work in an efficient and transparent manner.
During election night, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Spease opted to stay at home with a small group of socially-distanced and masked family members and friends who assisted with his campaign.
Spease told the Citizen that as someone who grew up in Elk Grove, he hopes to improve the lives of all generations of citizens.
“I want the residents and children to have the same opportunities that I had when I was growing up,” he said. “That’s what it all comes down to.”
Singh did not respond to the Citizen’s request for comment, as of press time.
Elk Grove City Council race results
*Reported as of 10 p.m., Nov. 3
Council District 1 – Darren Suen (incumbent) 69%, Ali Moua 30%
Council District 3 – Kevin Spease 32%, Amandeep Singh 20%, Maureen Craft 19%, Lynn Wheat 14%, Alejandro Gutierrez-Duncan 13%
Editor’s note: the District 3 race lacks an incumbent.
Source: Sacramento County Voter Registration and Elections Office