Steinberg Will Not Seek A Third Term

By Verbal Adam | OBSERVER Correspondent

Darrell Steinberg on Thursday announced he will not seek reelection in 2024, ending his time as Sacramento’s 56th mayor.

Mayor Steinberg – who was elected in 2016, succeeding Kevin Johnson, Sacramento’s first Black mayor – has extensive political experience. He served eight years on the Sacramento City Council before launching a successful campaign for the 9th Assembly District seat. After six years in that position, he served another eight years in the State Senate representing the 6th District. He also served as Senate president pro tempore until leaving office in 2014.

City of Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg hugging City Councilmember Rick Jennings II, District 7, moments before his official announcement to end his mayoral career at the end of his term. May 24, 2023. Photo by VERBAL ADAM.

He won a landslide mayoral victory in 2016, defeating Angelique Ashby by a record 32,000 votes.

Steinberg said he remains open to higher office and, should current Attorney General Rob Bonta run for governor, he would run for that office.

As mayor, Steinberg has presided over some of the most difficult challenges Sacramento has faced. The city’s handling of the police killing of Stephon Clark, the COVID-19 pandemic and the George Floyd protests has become ingrained in his political legacy. The election of Donald Trump in 2016 and the resurgence of white supremacists have also marred his tenure. City Council meetings are frequently interrupted by white supremacists and antisemetic rhetoric.

City of Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, right, speaking with Councilmember Karina Talamantes, District 3, center, and City Manager Howard Chan, moments before announcing his decision to end his career as mayor at the end of his term at the end of 2024. May 24, 2023. Photo by VERBAL ADAM.

The defining issue of his term, however, has been the handling of the housing crisis and mass homelessness. General public consensus is that Steinberg and local government have been largely ineffective, due to the inability of the city and county to agree on solutions.

Judging by comments by those who interact with his social media, Steinberg is unpopular. Still, he recently was vetted by Gov. Gavin Newsom for a potential judicial appointment. Before entering politics, Steinberg was an attorney and administrative law judge.

Several local leaders already have announced their mayoral candidacies, including Dr. Flojaune Cofer and Assemblymember Kevin McCarty.