State Senate Democratic leader Darrell Steinberg will be at Assemblyman Roger Dickinson's side today when he announces his candidacy for Steinberg's Sacramento-area Senate seat.
Steinberg's support is a major coup for fellow Democrat Dickinson, who is likely to face Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, in the 2014 Senate race. Steinberg is termed out next year.
Dickinson and Pan were slated for an intraparty showdown in the 7th Assembly District in 2012 before Pan moved to the Pocket area to run in the 9th District.
Dickinson was elected to the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors in 1994 and served for 17 years before his Assembly run in 2010. In addition to Steinberg, Dickinson is expected to announce a lengthy list of endorsements, including U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Sacramento County Supervisors Phil Serna and Don Nottoli, Sacramento City Council members Bonnie Pannell and Steve Cohn and former Sacramento Mayor Heather Fargo.
Pan has a campaign committee open and is fundraising but will likely not announce his intention for the Senate seat while the Legislature is in session, said Doug Herman, Pan's campaign strategist.
Herman said Steinberg's endorsement of Dickinson is not a deal-breaker. "There will be a lot of support for Pan and Dickinson," said Herman, who was Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez's campaign consultant. "In the end, it will come down to who they are. Endorsements won't make a difference in this race."
Call Melody Gutierrez, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5521. Follow her on Twitter @melodygutierrez.