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How Athletes Faired On Election Day

by Ryan Hudson

The presidential election wasn't the only public office decided on Tuesday, and among many of the winners and losers were former sports stars. Here's a quick look at some of those results:

- Basketball's Kevin Johnson, a former All-Star point guard for the Phoenix Suns, became mayor of Sacramento, Calif. The 42-year-old Democrat with conservative social views defeated two-term incumbent Heather Fargo in a run-off election to become the first black mayor of the California capital.

- Heath Shuler, a Heisman Trophy runner-up at Tennessee who played quarterback for the Washington Redskins and New Orleans Saints, won in his first bid for re-election to Congress from the state of North Carolina.

- Sam Wyche coached in the NFL with Cincinnati and Tampa Bay and made it to the Super Bowl with the Bengals after the 1988 season. He ran as a Republican and commandingly won a seat on the Pickens County Council in South Carolina, an area that includes Clemson University. Good thing he wasn't running Cleveland.

- Joe Mesi, once one of boxing's top heavyweights, lost a bid for a legislative seat in New York. Mesi had a 36-0 record as a fighter and once had to stop fighting for two years because of bleeding in his brain. The Democrat had the support of Buffalo Sabres owner B. Thomas Golisano in his attempt to win a state Senate seat but lost to Republican Michael Ranzenhofer.

- Joining Shuler in re-election to the House was Rep. Baron Hill of Indiana, a former Furman basketball player.

- Jason Chaffetz, a former BYU kicker who once had 10 extra points in a game, won a congressional seat in Utah after beating the incumbent in the Republican primary.

- In state legislative races, Peter Boulware, a former star linebacker at Florida State who went on to the Baltimore Ravens, was vying for a seat in Florida. Boulware, a Republican, was trailing on Wednesday but it may be headed for a recount.

- Bob Heaton, who played with Larry Bird on the Indiana State team that went to the 1979 Final Four, lost a close race in Indiana.

- Two ex-college football players were re-elected in the Oklahoma Legislature — Todd Thomsen, a former punter and kicker for Oklahoma, and Tad Jones, a former backup quarterback at Tulsa.

- Anton Gunn, once an offensive lineman at South Carolina, was headed for victory in the South Carolina Legislature.

- In Hawaii, Mufi Hannemann, a 6-foot-7 former Harvard basketball player, won a second term as Honolulu mayor.

- Connie Mack, the great grandson of the legendary baseball manager, won re-election as a Florida congressman.

- George Unseld, the brother of NBA great Wes Unseld, easily captured a spot on the Louisville (Ky.) Metro Council.

- Michael Victorino, the father of Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino, was unopposed in Hawaii for the Maui County Council.