Johnson Ousts Fargo in Sacramento Mayor's Race
KXJZ photo/Ben Adler
Former NBA star and Sacramento native Kevin Johnson will be the city’s first African-American mayor. He defeated two-term incumbent Heather Fargo after a dramatic eight-month campaign.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Kevin Johnson had a huge smile on his face at a jam-packed Midtown Sacramento restaurant.
Johnson: “Thank you all for coming out tonight – we did it! We did it!”
Barack Obama had already made history last night, and now, so had Johnson.
Johnson: “Now, there’s not too many times I can one-up Barack, but he old news right now!”
And Johnson continued to link himself to the nation’s president-elect.
Johnson: “Both Obama and myself, we ran on a promise and a theme of change. No more business as usual. Let’s buck the status quo. A different kind of government. Having done so, in my mind, brings a great responsibility though.”
He said he felt a tremendous burden to deliver a more transparent, energetic and action-oriented City Hall. After his speech, the normally intense Johnson stopped for a moment to reflect.
Johnson: “Being elected mayor is by far my greatest accomplishment, because this is about serving the community I’m from. This is about giving back. This is about the true spirit of being a public servant. This has been the most unbelievable experience in my life, hands down.”
The mood was more bittersweet at another restaurant a few blocks away, where Heather Fargo gave her concession speech. The mayor congratulated Johnson and thanked her supporters.
Fargo: “It’s certainly been an incredibly wonderful experience for me, and frankly I think I’ve been very good for Sacramento.”
Under her leadership, Fargo said, the city has become more cosmopolitan and more sophisticated, with great neighborhoods and a wonderful downtown. But she called the loss “difficult” and said she’s not sure what she’ll do next.
Fargo: “I still feel very good about this city, and very proud of what I’ve been able to do and looking forward to doing more, if maybe a little different venue.”
Fargo will end her two decades on the city council on November 25th. She says she’ll help Johnson with the transition between now and then.