Khmer Post USA Endorses Nuon, Elliott, Belanger, Gignac, Chum and Leahy for Lowell City Council

As we begin a new chapter in Lowell politics, we want to remember this moment and the decision we make on who to represent the people of Lowell. Remember that as we make this decision, it is the beginning of that new chapter, not the end nor the last. Without further due, I will highlight a few candidates I believe will bring fresh energy as well as ones with experience and knowledge to help lead our city to a better place.

Vesna Nuon

First and foremost, the Cambodian people are excited for Councilor Vesna Nuon who may not only win the council seat, but they have high hope that he’ll be the first Cambodian American Mayor in the United States. It’ll be a historic moment and a moment that he’s earned by topping the ticket in the city-wide election for the last two terms and seniority for serving on the council for 6 years. I am beyond proud to endorse councilor Nuon for his re-election and for his anticipated mayorship. Currently, the Mayor position is voted by elected councilors and due to the uncertainty of who will win in district seats, this election has been tricky for Vesna as other incumbents have other ideas on who should be the next Mayor. I urge the city councilors to do the right thing in January.

Rodney Elliott

Secondly, Rodney Elliott for District 1 in Pawtuckville, Rodney always impressed me with his knowledge in the council and his relentless efforts to serve the city in a wide range of executive board memberships, including the Community Teamwork. When the election lawsuit came up in 2017, he was the first councilor to advocate for the charter change and wanted to settle as quickly as possible without legal challenges, but it ultimately ended up in court under then Mayor Bill Samaras’s leadership and cost the city some $300,000 in legal fees. Furthermore, remarkably in that same year, he lead the first Cambodian Refugee Monument project, raised $45,000 and commissioned a distinguished Cambodian American artist Yari Levan to  build the monument in front of Lowell City Hall, which was completed and guaranteed for 100 years. Rodney is the people’s mayor and councilor. He is well loved and respected by the Cambodian people in Lowell and beyond. He speaks up against the Cambodian authoritarian government whenever possible. He is be best city councilor the Cambodian people ever had to represent them in Lowell and probably in America. I am most proud to endorse Rodney Elliot for City Council in District 1.

Deb Belanger

Thirdly, I support Deb Belanger for councilwoman at-large. She lives in Pawtuckville and has lived in the Highland. She has the management experience that she can bring to the council table. When Deb was the director of the Merrimack Valley Convention & Visitor Bureau, she brought hundreds of thousands of visitors every year to Lowell and helped Lowell’s economy by promoting events such as the Lowell Summer Music Series, Lowell Folk Festival, City of Lights, and the Tsongas arena.

Additionally, I am pleased endorse the following candidates: Robert Gignac for District 2 in Centralville; Mayor John Leahy for District 3 in Belvidere, and Ty Chum for District 8 in Highland & part of Sacred Heart.

Robert Gignac

It has been a difficult decision to arrive at these choices but I am confidence that Robert Gignac will serve well, having experience as a former school committee member and a one term councilor.

Ty Chum

As for District 8, Ty Chum will bring a new working style to the city. He is an entrepreneur and represents a new generation of leader, his focus is to improve the “business” side of the city administration. Many residents have complained about poor customer service in various departments of Lowell City Hall. Ty Chum wants to improve the customer relationship and transparency in the government.

John Leahy

Finally, Mayor Leahy has always been a fair councilor. He did a good job tackling the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic during his whole term as mayor. Under his leadership, a motion was passed in the school committee to declare racism is a public health crisis. While the same motion did not pass the city council, the city is working to hire a Diversity & Inclusion director. Additionally, he hired a first Cambodian American mayor aid Karonika Brown which was a milestone toward diversity. Mayor Leahy has worked well with the administration and I believe he’ll continue to do well.

Sokhary Chau

Lastly, District 6, councilor Sokhary Chau has done some good things for the district; however, he didn’t stand in solidarity with the people he served on issues of human rights and democracy when the United States Congress sanctioned the Cambodian government for human rights abuses and for undermining democracy in 2020.