Steve Meng drops out of 6th District race, endorses Suley Saro

Suley Saro (left) and Steve Meng (right) were rivals in the March 2020 election for the 6th Council District, but on Friday, they became allies as Meng withdrew his candidacy to support Saro's campaign.

Courtesy Suley Saro's campaign

Suley Saro (left) and Steve Meng (right) were rivals in the March 2020 election for the 6th Council District, but on Friday, they became allies as Meng withdrew his candidacy to support Saro's campaign.

Out of the seven candidates vying for the 6th District Council seat this March, two of them were of Cambodian descent. According to candidate Suley Saro’s office, that number has dropped to one, as Steve Meng, fellow Cambodian candidate in the race for the sixth, withdrew his candidacy Friday to support Saro’s campaign.

Meng’s campaign issued the following statement regarding the withdrawal: “I announced my campaign in part because I believe that the Cambodian community in Long Beach has been overlooked and under-represented. But the time has come to unite behind one candidate, with one vision for Long Beach, and that is Suely Saro. Suely and I have spent years working to lift up our community, and building a unified coalition behind her campaign is critical to accomplish that goal. In the coming months, I’m going to be working hard to bring our community together around Suely’s campaign. 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 went on to say that Saro “is the right candidate to unite the Cambodian-American community and to represent all Long Beach residents on the city council.”

The sixth district, currently under the leadership of Vice Mayor Dee Andrews, is home to a diverse community, but it is also a hub for a major portion of Long Beach’s Cambodian population.

During a public forum Nov. 22, Meng criticized the dim lighting along the Anaheim corridor, and as part of his campaign, he was to work with police to increase patrols in the neighborhood to tackle crime.

Saro’s office released the following statement in response to Meng’s announcement: “I want to thank Steve Meng for the confidence he has shown in me and for his tireless efforts on behalf of the Cambodian community in Long Beach for the past 25 years. Steve is an outstanding leader in our community. I am deeply grateful for Steve’s support, and I look forward to working closely with him throughout the campaign ahead. Long Beach residents deserve a responsive and effective councilmember who works every day to advance their interests. I know that with Steve’s help, and the support of the community, I will be the first Cambodian-American woman to serve on the Long Beach City Council and we will restore responsible leadership for the 6th District.”

Saro continues to face incumbent Andrews and four other candidates in the race for the 6th District seat. Election day is March 3, 2020.