Sacramento Mayoral Candidates Highlight Differences

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The Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau wanted to give members a glimpse of what the new mayor may do to build on the momentum of the wildly successful Farm-to-Fork initiative that produces hard tourist dollars for the city.

The two major candidates to replace mayor Kevin Johnson said at a luncheon at the Memorial Auditorium that they had the same goals for the city. But they said there were differences in how they might accomplish those goals.

Former State Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg says his influence and commitment was on display in helping get the Golden 1 Center built. He made a pitch to then NBA Commissioner David Stern, ensuring that red tape would be removed at the state level.

He said his contacts and know-how give him a clear edge.

"I've actually worked with governors, I've actually worked with legislative leaders, I've actually worked with national leaders, and they know me and have regard for me," said Steinberg.

But Steinberg's main opponent, City Council Member Angeliqe Ashby, also an arena supporter, said the new mayor must parlay the new arena into other development opportunities in surrounding neighborhoods.

She says she's a working mother who cut her teeth on local issues and has had leadership roles on the city council as vice mayor and mayor pro tem. She also said she is more well versed in current city issues than her opponent.

Ashby acknowledges Steinberg's accomplishments at the state capitol.

"But we're running for mayor of Sacramento ... my question is 'Are you ready to do land use? Are you ready to make sure the recycle and garbage are picked up on time? are you ready to talk about restoration of parks?'" Ashby said.

Steinberg, who was on the city council 20 years ago, said he is used to dealing and resolving complex issues.