"I'm fairly clear for myself that there doesn't appear to be a statewide constitutional office that I'm interested in running for in 2014. So as I look at other possibilities down the line, that's one possibility," Steinberg said in response to a question from The Bee about his interest in returning to City Hall, where he was a councilman in the 1990s.
The Democratic Senate leader was quick to add that he has not made any firm decisions and that he is friends with Mayor Kevin Johnson, whose term is up in 2016.
"It's not about him," Steinberg said. "I think he's doing a very good job."
Steinberg and Johnson worked closely together during the recent fight to keep the Kings basketball team in Sacramento, frequently making appearances together to block the team's proposed move to Seattle. While Johnson has not discussed the possibility of running for a third term in 2016, he has said that he does not want any job that would require him to leave Sacramento. A call to Johnson's office this morning was not immediately returned.
Steinberg told The Bee he is "not inclined to pursue" a run for Sacramento district attorney in 2014, a post he had once expressed interest in. Democrat Maggy Krell and Republican Anne Marie Schubert have already announced their candidacies for that race to replace longtime DA Jan Scully.
Steinberg has nearly $800,000 in a campaign account opened to run for lieutenant governor in 2018.
Bee reporter Ryan Lillis contributed to this report.
PHOTO: Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson clasps hands with California Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg on April 29, 2013, following the announcement that the NBA would not allow the Kings to move to Seattle. The Sacramento Bee/Renée C. Byer