Ald. Sawyer calls Karen Lewis a viable opponent to Rahm

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Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th), the son of a onetime Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer, told Early & Often on Tuesday that Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis would be a “viable” contender should she enter the mayoral race.

“I believe Karen Lewis, if she decides to run, would bring a light on a lot of issues that I think to a certain degree have been pushed aside by the current administration,” Sawyer said. “She would be viable.”

Sawyer’s growing interest in Lewis is another plus for the fiery union leader after an Early & Often poll showed she was leading Emanuel 45 percent to 36 percent with 18 percent of the likely voters undecided.

“I talked to her close advisors. From my understanding, she has a pretty well-rounded understanding of what’s going on in the city — not just the schools, but economic development … crime, issues I’ve been fighting. Minimum wage increase, privatization. It piqued my interest, I’m interested in speaking with her further, especially in light of the recent poll numbers that came out.”

RELATED: Karen Lewis inches closer to run — crafting exploratory committee Toni Preckwinkle rules out mayoral run

Sawyer said people in his South Side ward have been up in arms over school closings, even though there was only one school in his ward that was closed. But that isn’t the only issue that has him looking for an alternative to Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He said he likes what Lewis’ vocal opposition to “top-down” governing.

“I feel it. I experienced it personally,” Sawyer said. “I don’t get the level of communication that I think as aldermen that we should get from the administration. I feel sometimes we are being talked at instead of talked to.”

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