CHATHAM — Incumbent Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) won re-election in his South Side ward Tuesday, which includes Chatham, West Englewood and parts of Englewood.
With 96 percent of precincts reporting, he had 56 percent of the vote. Challenger Richard Wooten had 26 percent, while Brian Garner had 17.7 percent.
“We’re moving up, we won,” Sawyer said to a small crowd of his supporters.
He celebrated in a 4,600-square-foot building that that he hopes to turn into a restaurant in the Chatham community come late April.
“When I got into office, people thought I was going to be a go-along guy,” Sawyer said.
After his speech he explained that his father was a loyal Democrat whom he appreciated and admired, but he has an independent streak.
“I’m all for the Democratic caucus, I enjoy the caucus, I want to be a part of it, but I want to do it on my own terms, in my own way, so I'm happy I was selected to another term," Sawyer said. "There are a lot of improvements we have to make, lot of work we have to do. I’m excited about it."
With soulful music playing loudly in the room and some dancing, supporters surrounded Sawyer, offering him handshakes and warm embraces. Camera phones flashed across the room.
“I feel great, and I just knew that he would win again,” said Lee Esther Mullins, a Chatham resident.
Her son, Johnny Mullins, 46, said that Sawyer is bringing new ideas to the ward. The two began working together when Sawyer discovered that Mullins had plans to open a restaurant in the community. Mullins said that he and his business partner, John Ector, believe that Sawyer understands their vision, as well as “ultimate goal” for the ward — to give back to the youth.
“This is great, I remember when he first ran,” said Mullins. “He wants to do good things for the ward and has some good ideas."
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: