Crusader Staff Report
Dolton elected its first Black female mayor on a day when Black candidates across Chicago area suburbs won big in elections throughout Cook and DuPage counties.
In Dolton, Village Trustee Tiffany A. Henyard won in a landslide victory where she took more than 82 percent of the vote over opponent Ronnie Burge to become the city’s first Black female mayor.
In the February Democratic Primary, Henyard defeated incumbent Mayor Riley Rogers by taking over 34 percent of the vote. Rogers had 30.19 percent. Fellow candidates’ results show Andrew Holmes had 29.46 percent and Robert Shaw 5.87 percent of votes respectively.
At 37, Henyard is the youngest mayor in Dolton’s history.
Henyard’s campaign received a big boost from former Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, who served as her political consultant and campaign advisor.
She overcame criticism during the mayoral campaign season where she was accused of giving away free gas to Dolton residents. At a post-election party, she played a popular 1979 R&B hit, McFadden and Whitehead’s “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” and thanked her supporters for her big win.
“I am grateful, honored and blessed that the voters came out and voted for me to be the next mayor of Dolton,” Henyard said. “I do not take being the first female mayor of Dolton lightly. It is an awesome task bestowed on me. We went through the storm and we made it.”
In another landslide victory, Matteson Mayor Sheila Yvonne Chalmers-Currin easily won re-election, winning 86.76 percent of votes against Muhaymin Muhammad.
Some Black incumbent mayors also won big. In DuPage County, Aurora’s first Black mayor, Richard C, Irvin, won reelection after winning nearly 54 percent of the vote. In Hazel Crest Mayor Vernard L. Alsberry won another term after he took over 70 percent of the vote. In Markham, Mayor Roger A. Agpawa was reelected after winning over 81 percent of the vote against Black female candidate Jennifer Coles.
In Sauk Village, Mayor Derrick N. Burgess won another term, grabbing over 53 percent of the vote against Debra “Debbie” Williams.
In the Village of Robbins, Black incumbent Mayor Tyrone Ward was trailing Black newcomer Darren E. Bryant who led by nearly 56 percent of the vote to Ward’s 44 percent. A spokesperson for Ward said as of Wednesday morning that one precinct had yet to be counted as well as absentee ballots.
In Maywood, newcomer Nathaniel George Booker unseated incumbent Mayor Edwenna Perkins, taking nearly 40 percent of the vote to her 26 percent.