SACRAMENTO – In a major public-safety endorsement in the race, the State Coalition of Probation Organizations (SCOPO) today endorsed Sukhee Kang, the Democratic candidate for Senate District 29, which is at the confluence of Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.
The organization was formed in 1983 by line deputy probation officers in several counties, and now represents probation-officer associations and unions throughout the state.
“Sukhee Kang has always put public safety first as an elected official. As a big-city mayor, he had a great working relationship with public safety officers and ran one of the safest cities in American,” said Brian Ronan, president of the State Coalition of Probation Officers. “SCOPO enthusiastically endorses Sukhee’s candidacy for state Senate, because we know that in the Senate he will always fight to ensure that public safety officers have the resources and support they need to carry out their jobs and keep our communities safe.”
“I am deeply grateful and appreciative for the endorsement and support of the State Coalition of Probation Organizations in my campaign for state Senate,” Kang said. “These men and women help keep our communities safe by tracking and monitoring those on parole, and they need to be fully supported in their difficult job by those in public office. Public safety is always Job No. 1 for government, and I look forward to working closely with SCOPO and all public-safety agencies in the fight to protect our citizens.”
Kang also has won the support of Sen. Kevin de León, the current president pro tempore and Democratic leader of the Senate, Senate Majority Leader Bill Monning, and Sen. Connie Leyva, chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus. In addition, four past presidents pro tem of the Senate have come out in support of Kang’s candidacy.
Kang was a two-term city councilmember in Irvine, as well as a two-term mayor of the city, reelected overwhelmingly in 2010 with more than 64 percent of the citywide vote. He and his wife Joanne, also a South Korean native who immigrated to the U.S. with him in 1977, have been residents of Orange County for 39 years and now live in Fullerton.
Kang announced his candidacy for the open 29th Senate District on April 22, the first Democrat to do so, and has since picked up dozens of endorsements from state and local officials and community leaders throughout Orange and Los Angeles counties. The district is currently represented by Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff, who cannot run again due to term limits.
Kang has been recognized numerous times for his outstanding public service and community leadership, including receiving the American Diabetes Association’s “Orange County Father of the Year Award” in 2012, the Carnegie Corporation’s “Pride of America” award in 2010, and the International Leadership Foundation’s “Public Servant of the Year” award in 2010. The Irvine Chamber of Commerce also recognized Kang in 2010 as “Business Leader of the Year.”
A veteran, Kang served in the South Korean Army, then graduated from the prestigious Korea University with a degree in agricultural economics, and in 2011 was awarded an honorary doctorate from Dongseo University in Busan, Korea. He also has served a special advisor to the chancellor of UC Irvine, and as an adjunct professor and Chancellor Fellow at Chapman University.
The Kang children, Alan, 35, and Angie, 33, attended public schools in Anaheim, where the Kang family lived for 10 years. Alan, a graduate of USC’s Marshall School of Business, is a manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Angie, a graduate of Berkeley Law School (Boalt Hall), is vice president of business and legal affairs at Hulu.