Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson will not seek a third term and says a recently-published 1996 police video of a 16-year-old girl claiming he sexually assaulted her is not the reason he is not running again.
"It had nothing to do with my decision. I've never made a life's decision based on the facts of those allegations of what have been made or could be made. I've thought, you know, the way for me when it was time for me to run for office in the first place, um, I would have never run if those allegations were something that concerned me."
The girl, now 36, says Johnson paid her $230,000 in exchange for her silence. Johnson has never been charged.
The mayor says he told his staff this summer to start looking for employment elsewhere, but hadn't completely made up his mind about a third term until this week.
"The way I make a final decision, I usually take a pilgrimage down to Phoenix, which I did. I left on Sunday night. So, what's that, a couple days ago? I was in Phoenix all day Monday. I went by myself. I prayed. I communed. I reflected. I walked. I thought. And, I got the clarity that I needed."
Last November, the mayor said he felt it would be unlikely he would run again after his "strong mayor" ballot measure failed.
Johnson told supporters at the Underground Bookstore in Oak Park that says he feels the city has made tremendous progress in the last seven years.
"I think the city's trajectory has changed for the good. I am not abandoning Sacramento. I am not going anywhere. I've always said that regardless of whether or not I ran for another term, the prosperity of this city and the city itself will always be a top priority of mine."
He is credited with keeping the Sacramento Kings from moving to Seattle and has formed several public-private initiatives to tackle problems in the city.