Capitol Alert

Michelle Rhee leans fully into role as Sacramento mayor’s wife

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and wife Michelle Rhee respond to cheers from the crowd at the Sacramento Kings season opener on October 30, 2013.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and wife Michelle Rhee respond to cheers from the crowd at the Sacramento Kings season opener on October 30, 2013. Sacramento Bee file

Two months after announcing plans to step down as head of StudentsFirst, the national education advocacy group she founded in 2010, Michelle Rhee is leaning fully into her role as wife of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson.

At a voter information event Monday night hosted by Indivizible, Johnson’s African American community empowerment group, Rhee was by her husband’s side, stumping for his strong-mayor bid.

Introduced as “the first lady of Sacramento, Michelle Johnson,” Rhee encouraged the audience to get behind Measure L, which would move authority over many local policy decisions from the city manager to the mayor.

“If your base, meaning African Americans, get out to vote, we can win this thing,” she said.

After the event, Rhee said she is getting more involved with her husband’s work from day to day. In recent weeks, she has participated in a series of forums and town hall meetings to promote Measure L.

Starting in the new year, she said, she will be focused primarily on supporting Johnson’s political career in an informal capacity. She added that she is absolutely not interested in running for elected office herself.

“Heck no,” Rhee said. “We only have one politician in this house.”

Call The Bee’s Alexei Koseff, (916) 321-5236. Follow him on Twitter @akoseff.

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