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INTERVIEW: Roger Dickinson Discusses Not Running For Sacramento Mayor And Supporting Darrell Steinberg

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — On the day former Assemblyman Roger Dickinson took his name out of the running as the next mayor of Sacramento, he stopped by CBS13 to discuss his decision, his support of Darrell Steinberg and what can be done about the climate at City Hall.

SAM SHANE: I want to talk to you about your decision in a moment, but let's talk about how we got here. Mayor Kevin Johnson making the announcement that he will not run for re-election. He said at the time that the sexual molestation accusations he has been dogged with throughout his career had no impact whatsoever. Do you believe him when he said that?

ROGER DICKINSON: Well, I guess Sam I would say that it's not so much relevant whether that was part of his reasoning or not. I think we have a tradition in Sacramento of not electing people to the office of mayor three consecutive times. There's a sense of change in the air.

SHANE: But it is the elephant in the room. Everybody in the nation has been talking about it. You can't ignore it, sir.

DICKINSON: Well, there's no question that the story gained national attention, but I'm in no position to know what went on in terms of his own thinking. So I can only look the impact of what the decision means for Sacramento.

SHANE: Tell us first of all why you're not running, and why you are supporting Darrell Steinberg.

DICKINSON: Well, I chose not to run ultimately because after talking to friends and family at length and despite being encouraged by a number of people, I felt Darrell and I overlap so much—we're good personal friends, we share a lot of the same political views—it didn't make sense for both of us to take this on. I think Darrell will do a great job at leading Sacramento as our next mayor.

SHANE: Why not Angelique Ashby? She did pick up the endorsement from former Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully, and she is very popular in many circles.

DICKINSON: You know, this really isn't about Ashby in any negative sense as far as I'm concerned. Darrell has proven himself at the local level, at the state level. He has a tremendous record of accomplishment for us here in Sacramento and all across California—the kind of record that I know reaches out to all segments of the community. He'll emphasize economic development, youth development, education, helping those most in need in our community, and those are the kind of priorities I totally and whole-heartedly embrace.

SHANE: Last question for you has to do with the environment that's going on at City Hall. There is a women's rights group tonight that's going to be at the Sacramento City Council meeting, and they said they are "especially concerned with a possible hostile environment for women within the city hall and local government."  Both the mayor and city council members have faced allegations of sexual harassment. How concerned are you about the environment in that building.

DICKINSON: I certainly think that we need to change the atmosphere around City Hall. It's certainly disheartening to see some of the allegations and events that have allegedly occurred. There ought to be no question in this regard in our city's main chambers and in City Hall. So, it is time to take a different course and different direction to set an example in City Hall

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