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With the end nearing this fall of Senate leader Darrell Steinberg's long career representing Sacramento in the state Legislature, a political guessing game of sorts has emerged in the capital city: What Will Darrell Do?

In earlier rounds, the Sacramento Democrat has said he'd explore running for Sacramento district attorney (he didn't), Sacramento mayor (he still could) and California attorney general (didn't happen). Steinberg has said he would not challenge incumbents Mayor Kevin Johnson, who could run again in 2016, or Attorney General Kamala Harris, who is now running for her second term.

In the latest iteration of the game, Ventura County Star Columnist Timm Herdt makes the case that Gov. Jerry Brown should appoint Steinberg to fill one of two openings on the California Supreme Court. Herdt praised Steinberg as the "most productive legislative leader" since term limits were imposed, and argued for his broad expertise in state law and his skill as a consensus-builder.

Herdt wrote that Steinberg -- who worked as an employee-rights lawyer and an administrative law judge before being elected to the Legislature -- would be a "soberly creative" choice for Brown.

As for the possibility of a Mayor Steinberg? Herdt says it's "a position for which he seems overqualified."

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown, listens to Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, before delivering his State of the State address on Jan. 18, 2012. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua



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