I wrote about the possibility of this last month, but former Phoenix Suns guard Kevin Johnson is making it official, per the Sacramento Bee — he’s going to take on incumbent Sacramento Mayor Heather Fargo this November.
Johnson’s a Sac-town native and returned after his NBA career, and is the owner of housing in the Oak Park area, which got some unwanted attention for some less-than-sanitary conditions reported by the residents. Right now, the race is described as “wide open,” with no other competitors stepping up between Johnson and Fargo.
Johnson said he will spend time talking to more people before revealing his platform and plans for change. However, he said he knows he will push for good schools, a climate that attracts business and jobs, and a transparent, accountable government. He said he would commit to decreasing crime in the city and would put more sworn police officers on the street the first day he takes office.
He urged the crowd: “Help me create a city that works for everyone.”
So far, it’s all platitudes, but Sacramento is dealing with the same problems that most other cities in California and the country are facing — housing issues with foreclosure, questions about security and gangs, etc. At the very least, KJ might be able to convince the Maloofs to cough up the money to replace Arco Arena without trying to get public funds (pipe dream, likely.) But Fargo isn’t going down without a battle — she’s already accusing Johnson of owing $45K in back taxes. If that’s any indication, it’s going to get uglier fast.
The Bee also provides a helpful slideshow of the top jocks turned politicians (Gerald Ford is #1, the Governator #2). The only NBA baller on there is former New York Knick, senator, and presidential candidate Bill Bradley — but with KJ running and Sir Charles talking about running for governor of Alabama in 2012, maybe there’s a movement afoot.