As former NBA star Kevin Johnson continues his campaign for mayor of the city of Sacramento, local area politicians offered their views on how the race may potentially affect Yolo County.
The scheduled June 3 primaryelection, in which the 42-year-old Sacramento native will challenge three-term incumbent Heather Fargo, is important because it will decide the leader of the Sacramento region – the 16th largest media market in the country, said Yolo County District 1 supervisor Matt Rexroad.
[The election] does impact the people of Yolo County because the mayor of Sacramento should be the leader for the region, he said. My observation is that Sacramento needs a dynamic leader to step up and lead our area and I think the mayor would be a perfect person that would be able to step into that role.
The Yolo County city most affected by political happenings in Sacramento is West Sacramento because of joint programs between the two, Rexroad said.
West Sacramento Mayor Pro Tempore William Kristoff said these programs, which are either in place or are being planned, include mutual aid agreements regarding public safety, planning processes involving the Sacramento River, a system of street cars to connect the city to Yolo County and a joint sewer treatment facility currently located in Elk Grove.
However, not all agree on who is most suited to be the leader of the region.
Rexroad said he plans to support Johnson.
From what I can tell, he would be a fine mayor, Rexroad said. I think he’s the kind of guy who has the ability to step forward and do something.
Rexroad said he admired Johnson’s dedication to urban renewal projects in low-income Sacramento neighborhoods, sponsored by the nonprofit community development corporation, St. HOPE.
It’s not the kind of neighborhood where I would want my wife and daughters strolling around … at night, he said of Oak Park, the area Johnson grew up in, which is currently the focus of the mayoral candidate’s redevelopment projects.
Combined with the successful transformation of Sacramento High School into a charter school, Johnson’s work has demonstrated a willingness to step forward, Rexroad said.
If he can do a fraction for all of Sacramento what he’s done for Oak Park, then he should win hands down, he said.
While Rexroad has not had any personal contact with Johnson, he did say he has already offered his support to the campaign.
If he needs me to endorse somebody else and he’ll think that will help him, then I’ll do that, he said.
Meanwhile, others are reluctant to change leadership that has been active since 2001.
I’ve known Heather for a number of years and she seems to be working with West Sacramento very well, Kristoff said. Right now, I’d lean with her, but other than that, we try to stay out of everybody else’s political arena.
Dale Howard, campaign manager for Fargo’s reelection, said he was confident in support already enlisted for the mayor.
We have a great list of endorsements and a great wealth of support to draw upon, he said.
Local endorsements for Fargo include Yolo County supervisors Helen Thomson and Mike McGowan, and West Sacramento mayor Christopher Cabaldon, Howard said.
Howard said he believes that when records are compared between the two top challengers, it will be clear that Johnson has no specific plans for the city.
We believe the mayor’s support is such that she’ll have a majority in June and she’ll be able to continue with plans to improve her great city, he said.
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