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Mayor KJ (as in Kevin Johnson)

November 5, 2008 |  3:35 pm

Mayor-elect Kevin Johnson, second from left, embraces a supporter.

It must be a new day. In other historic races in which an African American shattered racial barriers to become a chief executive, Kevin Johnson, the former NBA star, was elected mayor of Sacramento, his hometown.

Meet His Honor, Mayor KJ.

Johnson, a three-time All-Star with the Phoenix Suns in the '80s and '90s,  defeated two-term incumbent Heather Fargo by a crushing 58%-to-42% margin.

"Sacramento also made history today in electing its first black mayor," Johnson declared at a victory celebration in Sacramento. “Both [President-elect Barack] Obama and myself, we ran on a promise and the theme of change. No more business as usual."

Stars like Oprah Winfrey and Bruce Springsteen campaigned for Obama. Stars like Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley campaigned for Johnson.

"A little knucklehead kid, a poor kid from Oak Park [a neighborhood in Sacramento], going away and coming back and being the mayor of the city he grew up in," said the mayor-elect, "that's the American dream."

-- Mark Heisler

Photo: Mayor-elect Kevin Johnson, second from left, embraces a supporter after his speech at the election night party in Sacramento Tuesday night. Credit: Jose Luis Villegas / Sacramento Bee via Associated Press