Steve Meng announced Friday he is dropping out of the District 6 council race, a significant development that could pave the way for a solidified Cambodian vote.
Meng said he is endorsing the other Cambodian in the race, Suely Saro, who he said “is the right candidate to unite the Cambodian American community and to represent all of Long Beach residents on the City Council.”
Saro and now five other candidates are trying to unseat incumbent Dee Andrews, who has served on the council since 2007.
Cambodians have long sought more say in city governance, and Saro appears to be well-positioned to give Andrews some competition. She has snagged several high-profile endorsements, including Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, state Sen. Lena Gonzalez, Unite Here Local 11, and LBUSD Board of Education member Megan Kerr.
Saro worked as a field representative for Lara when he was a state senator. She serves as an adjunct faculty member in social work at Cal State Los Angeles and as a consultant for the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy.
Meng, a small business loan officer and consultant, said he worked many years with Saro to lift up the city’s sizable Cambodian community, many of whom are refugees who fled their country during Khmer Rouge regime.
“I am eager to get to work with Suely, and I know that together, we will rise and we will make Long Beach better for every family,” he said in a statement.
Saro thanked Meng for his confidence and his “tireless efforts” on behalf of Cambodians. “I am deeply grateful for Steve’s support, and I look forward to working with him closely throughout the campaign ahead,” she said in a statement.
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