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Six candidates battle it out this Super Tuesday to be next Sacramento mayor

Sacramento mayoral candidates battle it out on Super Tuesday
Sacramento mayoral candidates battle it out on Super Tuesday 02:58

SACRAMENTO — For the first time in eight years, voters will decide who will be the next mayor of Sacramento.

Six people are battling it out on Super Tuesday to replace Mayor Darrell Steinberg, who decided not to run again. Mayoral candidates are Kevin McCarty, Jose Avina, Julius Engel, Dr. Richard Pan, Dr. Flojaune Cofer, and Steve Hansen.

Dr. Cofer is the only candidate in the field who has never held office before.  

Hansen, McCarty, Dr. Pan, and Dr. Cofer are considered the top four candidates in what is shaping up to be a tight race. Follow along as ballots are counted here.

Sacramento political strategist Steve Maviglio is watching the race closely and said "there's no clear favorite." He was right. The top four candidate were in a neck-and-neck race as early returns started coming on Tuesday. Check here for updated results.

He added that voters are turning this into a single-issue race.

"You can see it in the mail you're getting in your mailbox every day," he said. "Homelessness, homelessness and homelessness. That is the top issue."

Money is also pouring into the race — a lot of it.

In direct contributions reported:

  • Steve Hansen has raised $609,000.
  • Kevin McCarty has raised $790,000.
  • Dr. Flo Cofer has raised $410,000.
  • Dr. Richard Pan had raised $311,000.

"Money wins elections almost 95% of the time," Maviglio said. "Whoever spends the most money wins an election."

Besides the candidates' contributions, city hall campaign finance records also show that outside interest groups have raised nearly $3 million to spend on the mayor and city council races so far this election year.

Current Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, who has held his seat since 2016, announced last year that he would not run for re-election.

Another key mayoral race in the region is happening in Stockton this March primary. The city has not re-elected an incumbent mayor in more than 20 years. Meet the six candidates in that race here.

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