The two candidates for mayor of Sacramento spoke to a private panel at the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce before a crowd of Sacramento area businesspersons.
The media was not allowed in until the very end. It was an early opportunity to see both candidates stake out their ground in person.
Sacramento councilwoman Angelique Ashby and former state senate leader Darrell Steinberg spoke for more than an hour on everything from their breadth of experience, to their vision of Sacramento’s future and audience members said afterwards the two appeared to agree on more than what they disagreed on.
Ashby emphasized her youth and energy with a track record of delivering for her Natomas council district.
“I am, I always say, on fire for Sacramento. I have had tremendous results in my own district by reducing crime by 48 percent and improving business,” Ashby said afterwards.
Steinberg focused on his breadth of experience from city council to state Senate. “I’m running because I love my city. And I believe my experience, my reach and the fact that I’ve always delivered for Sacramento makes me the best choice,” Steinberg said.
Ashby said she saved her Natomas constituents money, while improving services. “I’ve been vice mayor and mayor pro tem for four years on the city council. No one in the history of the city, including my opponent, has ever done it two years consecutively,”Ashby said.
Steinberg complimented his rival but said his political, “reach” could provide for Sacramento.
“I think she’s been a very fine city counci lmember, but I’ve represented the entire city for 14 years. I was president of the senate and I always delivered for Sacramento,” Steinberg said after the discussion.
Many in the audience seeming pleased to have two strong candidates who were civil throughout. “I really like what both candidates had to say and I’m interested to see what happens next,” said businessman Zach Skeffington.
“I thought it was a terrific debate. They really got at substantive issues. They were nice to each other,” said businesswoman Sandy Smoley.
Even those who saw differences mostly seemed to want to wait and see.
“I think one is looking at it from the very ground up and another is looking at a very, very top down approach,” said businessman Makro Mlikotin. But when asked if he had a preference, he responded, “Well, I think the campaign is just started.”