Lyle Loses Tight Race To Sawyer In 6th Ward

CHICAGO (CBS) — Four incumbent Chicago aldermen lost their bids for re-election in Tuesday’s runoffs and the tightest of those contests was in the 6th Ward, where Ald. Freddrenna Lyle lost out to Roderick Sawyer, the son of former Mayor Eugene Sawyer.

As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, Sawyer led Lyle by 124 votes early Wednesday, with 100 percent of precincts reporting.

Although election officials must still count absentee and provisional ballots, Lyle conceded Tuesday night that she wouldn’t be able to catch up.

Roderick Sawyer shed a few tears as he shared how proud his dad would be of his victory in the ward where Eugene Sawyer once served as alderman from 1971 until 1987, when he became mayor.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports

“It’s a little melancholy because, you know, my dad’s not here to savor this with me,” Roderick Sawyer said Wednesday morning. “He always knew I had interest in public service, we would talk about it all the time. And he knew that one day I was going to throw my hat in some kind of ring.”

Roderick Sawyer said he always looked up to his dad when the elder Sawyer was alderman, then mayor.

“Absolutely, I looked up to him. I mean, he was my idol and as I’d gotten older, you know, he became my best friend.”

Although he was inspired, this was no easy win for him.

Lyle, seeking a fourth term, lost by a very narrow margin despite the support of Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel, labor unions and business leaders.

Roderick Sawyer said he talked with Emanuel on the phone Wednesday morning.

“He shared a couple of jokes with me and I think we’ll get along just fine,” Sawyer said. “I put that behind me. I mean, the election is over and I have no ill will toward anyone.”

Sawyer said that, as the next alderman, he wants to clean up the neighborhoods, especially Englewood.

It’s not just the trash, but also crime on the streets. Two Chicago police officers were shot and killed in the 6th Ward last year: Officer Thomas Wortham and Officer Michael bailey.

Lyle did not return a phone call seeking comment on the election on Wednesday.

Sawyer said he was going to talk to Lyle on Wednesday. He had once been a Lyle supporter, but decided to run against her after she voted for the controversial parking meter lease deal.

Sawyer said he’s known Lyle for 20 years and believes they’ll be able to move forward.

  • T.C.B.

    I hate to say this, but I’m glad that Fredrenna Lyle is out. I’m still angry at her because she voted along with Mayor Daley and Carolyn Schoenberger the former commisioner to add more taxi medallians on the street, accusing cabdrivers for refusing to drive our taxi’s in dangerous neighborhoods. Fredrenna Lyle don’t even ride taxis and neither does the people in her ward, so that’s why taxis don’t go there. There’s no business there for us in the 6th ward. All our business is where the people living in the downtown condos finds it cheaper to ride taxis than owning a car. We don’t go to the west side either, because the westside had seven CTA routes heading towards downtown, and the westsiders finds it cheaper to ride CTA than riding taxis downtown. Accusing cabdrivers for refusing to drive in dangerous neighborhoods is an excuse for the city to add more taxi medallians to generate revenue for the city. We lost ridership to these extra taxi medallians that hurts the cabdrivers and their families. Fredrenna Lyle, I’m glad you got defeated and now you regret it.

    Chicago Taxi Drivers are glad to see you go and so does a percentage of people living in the 6th Ward. You did nothing for the 6th Ward anyway so you deserve to lose.

  • Dianne

    God bless Mr. Sawyer for his victory. We all know that this person will lead our ward to a better living conditions and people like him anyway. This race is on everyones head and we all are praying that God will intervene in everything we do for His glory and praise. May the good Lord bless this wonderful person and we all want to see him helping people in need.
    God bless them all.

  • Gracie

    Taxi drivers do not vote. They are all inside theri cabs and charging so much to customers. Mrs Lyle is out because she did not do what she is supposed to do. So she is voted out. lI hope Mr. Sawyer will lower the fees taxi drivers charge because our salaries are so low that we use all our money paying taxi drivers high fees.

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