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Wong Picked as Cerritos Mayor After Pledging to Stay in City

April 26, 1987|STEVEN R. CHURM | Times Staff Writer

CERRITOS — After reassuring his colleagues that he will not leave the city before his term expires next year, City Councilman Daniel K. Wong was elected mayor last week.

It had been widely speculated that Wong was positioning himself to run for the City Council in Monterey Park in 1988, a move that would require him to resign from the Cerritos council before his current term ends next April.

That speculation was boosted by several Monterey Park officials who said that Wong told them he wants to run for council in that city, where 40% of the residents are Asians. As a result, several Cerritos council members had said they might not support Wong's bid for mayor.

But the 45-year-old Wong received the backing of all four of his colleagues Tuesday, including outgoing Mayor Don Knabe and Councilwoman Ann B. Joynt. The two had originally opposed Wong's becoming mayor.

Joynt had said she was upset by Wong's recent statements that he planned to challenge a voter-approved limitation of council terms, Proposition H, in the courts.

And Knabe had said he could not vote for Wong for mayor if he planned to resign in mid-term and run for office in Monterey Park, where Wong bought a house earlier this year and plans to expand his medical practice.

But Joynt and Knabe joined council members Diana Needham and Barry A. Rabbitt in making Wong's selection as mayor unanimous.

It is the second time Wong has been mayor in his nine years on the council. Wong, a Chinese-American and a physician, was narrowly elected mayor by a 3-2 vote in 1983 with Knabe and former Councilman Alex H. Beanum dissenting.

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