In an e-mail to colleagues this week, Senate leader Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, took a swipe at one labor union and a coalition of business groups that tried to influence a Democratic primary in San Diego.
Independent interests spent more than $2 million to boost the campaign of former Assemblyman Juan Vargas (D-San Diego). Steinber and 14 other members of the caucus backed Assemblywoman Mary Salas (D-San Diego), who narrowly won the race.
The race was more than a primary. It was seen in Sacramento as a test for Steinberg’s leadership as moderates increasingly have tried to flex their muscle within the caucus. Salas’s victory is a big win for Steinberg, who wasn’t above pointing that out to colleagues in the note this week. The text of the e-mail follows:
I want to thank everyone who participated in our incredible caucus effort (walking, one month of intensive phone banking at the bunker, and fundraising for our candidates) to support my leadership and position us to increase our majority. We have an incredible team of members and staff. Please thank your staffs for me. Every vote mattered.
Mary Salas, John Laird, and Anna Caballero, not to mention Lou Correa and Mike Rubio are outstanding candidates in our most competitive races.
We can not let up. John Laird and our political team are doing everything right. We can get to 26 before the summer is out especially if everyone follows through on their commitments.
Among the many lessons from last night is the fact that these multimillion dollar independent expenditure campaigns, and single issue initiatives will not prevail over hard work and the better candidate or cause. Some parts of the business community and AFSCME spent over 2 million dollars to defeat Mary Salas. We prevailed because of Mary’s strength, and our efforts to work every last vote on the ground.
I urge all of us to coalesce and continue working to not only hold our current majority, but to expand it. I look forward to seeing you all soon.
Finally, a cheer and good thoughts to our colleague Gloria Romero who lost a tough one last night. We all love and respect you Gloria.
Sent from my BlackBerry(r) wireless device