Johnson Picks up Two City Council Endorsements

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, April 3, 2008

The way Sacramento city government works, the mayor has just as much power as a single council member – no more, no less.  So if Kevin Johnson ends up leading that council, he’ll need at least four of the other eight votes to advance his agenda.  On Thursday, standing between Sacramento’s old and new City Halls, he picked up two of them: Sandy Sheedy and Steve Cohn.  Johnson said he was “extremely excited” about getting their support.
Johnson: “Playing professional sports and being a point guard, you realize how important a team sport is.  And if I get elected mayor, I have to work with all the city council members – and I’m looking forward to working with them all, whether they endorse me or not.” 
Sheedy and Cohn both said Johnson has the vision and leadership style to transform Sacramento – and said their endorsements were votes for Johnson, not against Mayor Heather Fargo.  But after the press conference, Cohn went a step further.
Cohn: “When you look at her track record, it’s not so much what she’s done as what could have been done.  So it’s more a question of missed opportunities.” 
For example, Cohn said the city’s downtown transportation hub, known as the “intermodal,” could have been finished by now – or at least further along.
On the other side of City Hall a few minutes later, Fargo admitted she was disappointed.  But she pointed to her accomplishments and defended her style of leadership – implying a contrast with Johnson’s style that has rubbed some people the wrong way.
Fargo: “Obviously, I can no longer claim I have the support of the entire city council.  But I still think that having a consensus-style of leadership is very effective for me and very effective for Sacramento.  I think it’s a style that works.” 
Up until now, Fargo has touted the endorsements of all eight council members.  But councilman Kevin McCarty says he never agreed to endorse Fargo at all.  He’s currently deciding between her and Johnson.  Meanwhile, council members Ray Trethaway, Rob Fong, Robbie Waters and Bonnie Pannell have told the Sacramento Bee that they’re sticking with Fargo.  Councilwoman Lauren Hammond told KXJZ the same thing last month.