Ald. Roderick Sawyer lead dips below 50 percent for possible runoff

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Ald. Roderick Sawyer and Deborah Foster-Bonner

Crusader Staff Report

The champagne and celebrations are on hold for Alderman Roderick Sawyer.

More than one week after the Chicago election, Sawyer has been forced into a runoff against Deborah Foster-Bonner. On Friday, March 8th, the Chicago Board of Elections released its updated results that includes mail-in ballots. They show that Sawyer’s percentage of the vote fell to 49.98 – below the 50 percent requirement to win the seat outright. Foster-Bonner so far has received 31.23.

Sawyer on February 26 grabbed 50.5 percent of the vote, but his lead has been shrinking as officials continue to count mail-in ballots.

Ald. Sawyer released athe following statement days before he was forced into a runoff on April.

“In the next four weeks, we’ll work hard to do what we’ve always done—organize, mobilize and engage voters on every single block of the 6th Ward. I’m so proud of the progress we’ve made since my election in 2011, and I’m more than ready to keep a robust conversation going about the future of our community over the course of this race.”

Foster-Bonner told the Crusader that she never conceded the race and believes that she will face Sawyer again in a runoff.

Sawyer is the fourth Black incumbent forced into a runoff race. The others include Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th Ward), Ald. Toni Foulkes (16th Ward) and Howard Brookins Jr. (21st).

In the 20th Ward, Jeanette Taylor and Nicole Johnson will face each other in a runoff after Taylor failed to get 50 percent of the vote.

The incumbent, Willie Cochran, reportedly will plead guilty during a scheduled March 21 hearing. Cochran was scheduled to go to trial June 3 after he walked away from a plea deal in 2018. He was charged with 11 counts of wire fraud, two counts of extortion, and two counts of bribery.

Federal prosecutors have accused Cochran of demanding $1,500 from an attorney for a real estate developer seeking to fix up vacant homes in his ward, and a $3,000 cash bribe from a liquor store owner seeking to sell his business to someone who needed a city liquor license.

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