Inside Stories

Current Mayor Throws Support Behind Rourke

Sokhary Chau is now the 5th councilor-elect to pledge his support for Dan Rourke to succeed him in the office, leaving the Pawtucketville councilor just one vote shy of the six necessary to secure his selection as next Mayor of Lowell when the next council is seated in January.

Chau, the fist Cambodian to serve as Lowell Mayor when he was chosen by his peers in January of 2022, joins John Leahy, Paul Ratha Yem, and John Descoteaux in confirming their intentions. Combined with Rourke’s vote, that gives him five. Vesna Nuon, who is once again interested in pursuing the post, has received the commitment of Wayne Jenness.

That leaves Erik Gitschier, Rita Mercier, Corey Robinson and Kim Scott as the only elected members of the next council to not take a position publicly on who they will support.

Mayor Chau released the following statement to InsideLowell when asked if he had made a commitment:

“I wish to thank all the voters who came out to vote yesterday.  The low turnout did not paint an accurate picture of all the hard work and anticipation of the candidates with their volunteers and supporters. A great effort goes into election day:  candidates, sign holders, supporters, poll workers, and all the election staff and Lowell Police personnel.  And of course, the most important participant is the VOTER!!   I want to thank everyone for exercising one of our greatest freedoms – the right to VOTE!!  

I congratulate all candidates who secured an elected seat and those who put their name on the ballot but were unsuccessful.  It takes courage to put your name on the ballot and your face, reputation, and your heart on the line. Each candidate makes sacrifices of family and personal time as the campaigns progress.  As an elected official, I appreciate your willingness to put your ideas out and seek support to make a difference in our City.   Many candidates are friends and community leaders already.  I look forward to working with you in our new term to help get your goals and vision for the city implemented. 

As we look forward, and plan for the next Council term, we also recognize the importance of selecting a potential new Mayor.   I have decided to put my support behind Councilor Dan Rourke for Mayor.  This is an important decision for the Council and the City.  I believe Councilor Dan Rourke believes in the same main principles as I do: to work with everyone in the City, to unite the community and not to be divisive, and to cast wide resident support from all levels and neighborhoods in our community.   

While serving on the Council with Councilor Rourke, Dan has been very supportive of my initiatives. We routinely communicate multiple times on a weekly basis.  I believe he will extend these open, welcoming, and supportive efforts to the rest of our residents, stakeholders, partners and collaborators.  

I have been humbled and honored to have served as Mayor for the City of Lowell over the past two years.  It is the honor of a lifetime for me, my family, and my Cambodian American diaspora. I have the greatest respect and gratitude to the Councilors who unanimously elected me to this position.  I have worked hard to honor the residents of this City and to represent all our Council and residents to the best of my ability.  

Again, I thank the voters in District 6 for having both confidence and faith in me to carry their voices and vision inside City Hall chambers in the next term.”

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