SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Sacramento City Councilwoman and Mayor Pro Tem Angelique Ashby formally kicked off her state Senate campaign Wednesday, entering a race that could be hotly contested and expensive.
In a tweet from a new campaign account, Ashby said, “I’ve spent my career fighting for families — and I’m ready to take that fight to the capitol to represent communities across the Sacramento region in Senate District 6.”
It was no spur-of-the-moment campaign. Ashby has spent months lining up 200 key endorsements, including from incumbent Sen. Richard Pan, who is being termed out.
She said she has plenty of support from her Natomas neighborhood because she has delivered the goods: parks, fire stations, high-density housing and commercial development, to name a few.
Ashby locked horns with Mayor Darrell Steinberg over funding an expensive aquatic center, partially with funds earmarked for disadvantaged neighborhoods.
Also in the race is fellow City Councilman Eric Guerra, an immigrant who represents ethnically diverse South Sacramento.
Guerra is an advocate of police reform.
“Address these issues of race and equity head-on in our own city,” he said.
The sixth Senate district goes well beyond Natomas, going as far south as Elk Grove. But Ashby said she should not be pigeon-holed based on the neighborhood she represents.
Ashby grew up in the impoverished Oak Park neighborhood as a single mom on food stamps who worked her way to a law degree.
It was no accident that a young woman from a disadvantaged, immigrant family kicked off the Ashby campaign.
“A monumental moment for all the girls who look up to her, including myself,” said Isabella Gatdula at the time.
Ashby supporters run the gamut of ethnic groups and have supported police reform despite having close ties to police and fire unions.
“I have used that relationship to leverage social justice that cries out for change and is absolutely necessary,” Ashby said.
Another possible opponent who has yet to announce a candidacy is former state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, who also served in the State Assembly, as well as on the Sacramento City Council.
Still, Ashby said her goal is to continue to deliver the goods from the State Capitol.
“That lens that I have having served on the city council will help me,” she said.Ashby was overwhelmingly re-elected to the city council but will give up her seat if she loses her race for the State Senate.