Cambodian American civic group to host 6th District candidate forum this Friday

Seven announced candidates in the 6th District council race are expected to participate in a forum Friday night sponsored by the Cambodian American Civic Engagement Council.

Candidates scheduled to take part include incumbent Dee Andrews and his challengers Ana Arce, Sharifah Hardie, Robert Harmon, Steve Meng, Suely Saro and Craig Ursuy.

Andrews has won more elections than any member of the City Council, the Post previously reported. He is now seeking a fourth term.

Cambodian community members are hopeful, though, that with two Cambodian American candidates in the race they will finally see representation at the local level. 

There has never been a Cambodian council member in Long Beach, which is home to the largest concentration of Cambodians outside of Cambodia.

“This is an important chance for voters to understand who these candidates are and what they want to do for the district,” said Charles Song, co-chair of CACEC.

“It’s especially important for the Cambodian community which has historically not participated fully in electoral politics,” added Laura Som, also co-chair of CACEC.

While candidates have already begun campaigning and rolling out their list of endorsements, other candidates may still enter the race since the filing period closes Dec. 6. The primary election is slated for March 3, 2020.

The election will feature races for all four even-numbered council seats, including the 2nd, 4th and 8th districts.

The forum will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 22 at Ernest McBride and Cal Rec Center, at 1550 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave.

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Stephanie Rivera is the immigration and diversity reporter for the Long Beach Post. Growing up as one of six kids in the working-class immigrant suburb of South Gate, she was taught the importance of civic engagement and to show compassion for others. After graduating from CSULB with a degree in journalism, Stephanie worked for Patch Latino and City News Service before coming to the Long Beach Post in 2015. An avid Harry Potter fan, Stephanie now lives in Bixby Knolls with her boyfriend and their bearded dragon, Austin.
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