Kevin Johnson says he will not to run for third term

SACRAMENTO – Kevin Johnson, the first African American elected mayor in Sacramento’s history, has announced that he will not seek a third term.

Mayor Johnson tweeted a photo of his statement late Tuesday night.  pic.twitter.com/eQrxNc0y7T

“After much thought and soul-searching I have decided not to run for a third term as Mayor,” Johnson said in his statement.

Mayor Johnson has been one of the most successful mayors in the city’s history. He was first elected in 2008, defeating then-Mayor Heather Fargo. He was reelected in 2012 with virtually no opposition. Under his leadership, he nearly single-handily secured new owners for the Sacramento Kings which inspired development of a new downtown arena and a series of additional projects in the region.

“Over my two terms in office, I’ve experienced the highest highs and the lowest lows. But I wouldn’t change a single moment of it even if I could. Because it is the whole of these experiences that have led our community to where we are today, and I know that that is an extremely good place,” Mayor Johnson said in his statement.

His success sparked rumors about Johnson seeking higher office, but Johnson said he is not sure what is in his future.

“As I’m sure there will be much speculation on this, let me proactively say that I am not leaving for another specific job or position. While there are many intriguing opportunities out there (and I’m excited to explore them) I honestly don’t know what’s next for me,” he added.

Sacramento Mayor Pro Tem Angelique Ashby told KCRA Tuesday night that she will be running for mayor. She will officially announce her candidacy Wednesday morning in front of the Sacramento Area Firefighters Local 522 Headquarters.

Former California Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg previously told KCRA that he would run for mayor in the event that Johnson decided not to seek reelection.

Read Mayor Johnson’s full statement below:

On March 1, 2008 I made the most important decision of my life. I decided to leave my comfortable life as a private citizen and run for Mayor of the City of Sacramento. I remember it like it was yesterday. As I started to discuss it with close family and friends a number of them expressed their dismay. “WHY would you want to do this to yourself?” they asked, disillusioned with how politics in our country have devolved and worried about what a step into public life might mean for me. The answer was simple… because I love Sacramento.

This is the city I was born in, the city I was raised in and the city I have built my life in. In 2008, I saw that the community that I loved so much was not meeting its potential. At the time, Sacramento was the second most dangerous city in the state. We faced record high unemployment and foreclosures. Our downtown was a ghost town in the evenings and on weekends. The city was dealing with an enormous budget deficit. Only a third of our young people were reading on grade level. We have a homeless “tent city” emerging on our riverfront.

I decided to run with the slogan of “A City That Works for Everyone” under the belief that we must be a community that provides a high quality of life and serves all of our citizens equally well.

Seven and a half years later, I am pleased to say that we’ve made tremendous progress towards this vision.

Have we accomplished everything we set out to? Absolutely not. Are we in a much better position as a city? Without a doubt.

Over my two terms in office, I’ve experienced the highest highs and the lowest lows. But I wouldn’t change a single moment of it even if I could. Because it is the whole of these experiences that have led our community to where we are today, and I know that that is an extremely good places.

So today, I face a decision equally important to the one I made 7 years ago. It’s not something that I’ve taken lightly or rushed to hastily. After much thought and soul-searching I have decided not to run for a third term as Mayor. It was an incredibly difficult choice, but one that I feel confident about. As I’m sure there will be much speculation on this, let me proactively say that I am not leaving for another specific job or position. While there are many intriguing opportunities out there (and I’m excited to explore them) I honestly don’t know what’s next for me.

But this is what I DO know… I leave this job humbled by the opportunity and honor of serving my community. I leave my position knowing there is ample leadership in the city to effectively fill me shoes. I leave knowing that the city is headed in the right direction and is ready to embrace the exciting changes ahead. And I leave knowing that my relationship with and work on behalf of the city is far from over.