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Council candidate: Noah Lor

Noah LorResidence: South MercedFamily: married, six childrenNumber of Years Lived in Merced: 24 yearsParty Registration: DemocratBiggest Funders: $1,000 from Merced Mariposa Central Labor CouncilPast Experience With Public Office: NoneEndorsements: Merced-Mariposa Labor Central Labor Council, Councilman Joe Cortez

Lor is a one-time Merced Police Officer who now works for the Merced County Department of Mental Health and as a counselor and instructor at Merced College.

Among the candidates, he’s the only one who’s mentioned an issue that doesn’t get a lot of attention in council races: Merced’s senior citizens. Lor says he wants police to interact more with senior citizens, so they’ll feel safer in their neighborhoods.But like other candidates, he lists jobs as his top concern.

“We don’t have quality jobs, that’s why we have a high rate of foreclosures,” said Lor. “Nobody wants to live in Merced because we don’t have jobs. If I get elected to the council, I will work very hard to recruit companies into Merced that will offer more quality jobs, not just day jobs.”

Among his supporters is Councilman Joe Cortez, a former police commander who worked with Lor during his sting with the police department. He calls Lor a man who’s “small in stature, but big in heart.”

“When he first came to this country quite a while back, he got educated, got his master’s degree,” said Cortez. “I think that speaks volumes about what he can do and what his potential is.”

Cortez also noted that as Merced’s first Hmong candidate, Lor could provide key insight into one of Merced’s fast-growing Southeast Asian population.