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Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) at a Chicago City Council meeting in January. File Photo. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Ald. Sawyer slips closer to April runoff — one vote at a time

SHARE Ald. Sawyer slips closer to April runoff — one vote at a time
SHARE Ald. Sawyer slips closer to April runoff — one vote at a time

South Side Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) on Tuesday inched closer to being forced into a runoff.

His razor thin majority now rests on just three votes.

The latest tally of mail-in ballots shaved the majority held by the son of a former mayor and head of the City Council’s Black Caucus by one more vote.

Since Election Day, his majority has steadily dropped away, vote by vote. If the trend continues, he’ll likely face Deborah Foster-Bonner on April 2. Foster-Bonner is an accountant who runs her own business.

Since 2011, Sawyer, son of former Mayor Eugene Sawyer, has served as alderman of the 6th Ward, which encompasses parts of Chatham and Englewood.

Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer along the city’s lakefront. January 15, 1989. Photo by Antonio Dickey.

Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer along the city’s lakefront. January 15, 1989. Photo by Antonio Dickey.

Records from the Chicago Board of Elections show that Roderick Sawyer was holding onto 50.01 percent of the vote in the 6th Ward aldermanic race.

The combined tally of his two opponents — Richard Wooten and Deborah Foster-Bonner — was just three votes fewer than Roderick Sawyer’s 5,044 votes. Foster-Bonner was in second place, with more than 31 percent of the vote.

From left, 6th Ward aldermanic candidate Richard A. Wooten and Ald. Roderick T. Sawyer meet with the Sun-Times Editorial Board in January. File Photo. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

From left, 6th Ward aldermanic candidate Richard A. Wooten and Ald. Roderick T. Sawyer meet with the Sun-Times Editorial Board in January. File Photo. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

As long as mail-in ballots were postmarked by last Tuesday, the board is required to count any that arrive right up until March 12.

Runoffs are needed when no candidate wins a majority in the first round, pitting a race’s top two vote-getters in an April 2 grudge match.

6th Ward aldermanic candidate Deborah A. Foster-Bonner. | Provided photo

6th Ward aldermanic candidate Deborah A. Foster-Bonner. | Provided photo

In other close races, Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th) had 49.77 percent of the vote as of Tuesday. The combined total of his four other opponents was 23 votes higher than Lopez’s tally. If Lopez’s total rises above 50 percent, he will be able to avoid the runoff.

Nine other incumbent aldermen were also forced into runoffs after last week’s election. Three aldermen — Joe Moore (49th), Proco “Joe” Moreno (1st) and John Arena (45th) — were given the boot by their constituents. Runoffs are also scheduled for another four wards with no incumbents.

More than 558,000 — about 35 percent of registered voters — came out to vote in the Feb. 26 election, according to the Chicago Board of Elections.


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