City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

August 2, 2012
Mayor Johnson spent big in re-election, despite mocking opponents

Mayor Kevin Johnson sure spent a lot of campaign cash for a guy who didn't think too highly of his competition.

Newly-released campaign finance documents show Johnson spent a total of $541,281 on the June primary. That's compared to just a few hundred bucks by his three competitors combined.

That spending was part of what was a record year in city elections. I'll have more on that in an upcoming Bee article.

Johnson's campaign said often this spring they weren't taking anything for granted in the mayor's re-election bid. Still, Johnson and his campaign made statements that indicated how they really felt about city parks commissioner Jonathan Rewers, bounty hunter Leonard Padilla and insurance broker Richard Jones.

When Rewers received the endorsement of former Mayor Heather Fargo, Johnson remarked to reporters "that's one vote" and offered a somewhat sarcastic "congratulations to him."

At another point, Steve Maviglio - the mayor's campaign spokesman - said that "even if you don't support the mayor, you'd have to think twice about casting your vote for any of the not-ready-for-prime-time competition."

So why spend more than half a million dollars on the race?

"The Mayor took this campaign seriously and built up a large war chest in anticipation of a vigorous campaign," Maviglio said in an email. "There are many contributors across the nation who have recognized his work as Mayor and want him to continue to succeed in moving Sacramento forward."

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About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at rlillis@sacbee.com

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