City Beat

Business group endorses Steinberg mayoral run

Former California Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg speaks with members of the press about his possible candidacy for mayor of Sacramento, in Sacramento on Thursday, October 22, 2015.
Former California Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg speaks with members of the press about his possible candidacy for mayor of Sacramento, in Sacramento on Thursday, October 22, 2015. rbenton@sacbee.com

Region Business, a group that does political advocacy for businesses in the Sacramento region, announced Monday it was pre-emptively endorsing former state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg for Sacramento mayor.

Steinberg has not said definitively whether he will run for mayor in 2016, but hinted that he would during an appearance last week at a Harry Truman Democratic Club luncheon.

“Darrell Steinberg has always been a close partner and ally of our organization for years,” Region Business CEO Joshua Wood said in an email. “Whether it’s taking critical leadership in the effort to have a downtown arena, being the highest-ranking official to endorse our efforts for government reform, or committing to having Sacramento having a one-day permitting program, Darrell has been there with us on our top priorities for advancing economic development.”

Wood mentioned a state bill written by Steinberg, Senate Bill 743, which allows for sped-up judicial reviews of environmental challenges to major projects such as the new Kings arena under construction in downtown Sacramento. Steinberg, a Democrat, also co-chaired a task force appointed by Mayor Kevin Johnson that promoted the arena project.

If he runs, Steinberg would face Sacramento City Councilwoman Angelique Ashby, who announced her candidacy last week. They would seek to replace Johnson, who announced last week he will not pursue a third term in 2016. Region Business last month pre-emptively endorsed a third Johnson term.

Ashby has been endorsed by the city’s firefighters union and state Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento.

The former city councilman, Assembly member and Senate speaker pro tem talks about the possibility of running for mayor of Sacramento after Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson announced he will not be seeking a third term. He said he will make his deci

Ryan Lillis: 916-321-1085, @Ryan_Lillis

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