Sophia King wins 4th Ward aldermanic seat without runoff
April 7, 2017

Alderman Sophia King.

In the special election for alderman of the 4th Ward, Sophia Dorsey King, who had been appointed alderman by Mayor Rahm Emanuel last year, easily defeated four challengers to retain her seat. Emanuel appointed King after Alderman Will Burns resigned to take a job with AirBnB.

King tallied 4,286 votes for 63.77%. Fifty percent plus one was needed to avoid a runoff. Ebony D. Lucas was her closest opponent with 1,179 votes for 17.54%. Gregory Seal Livingston was third with 440 votes for 6.55%. Next was Marcellus H. Moore Jr. with 410 votes for 6.1%. Gerald Scott McCarthy finished with 406 votes for 6.04%. About 18% of registered voters cast a ballot.

King noted that she is thankful that the voters “have given me the opportunity to continue to serve as your Fourth Ward Alderman. It is a privilege and an honor, which I do not take lightly. The 4th Ward is made up of so many wonderful and distinct communities—Grand Blvd, South Loop, the Gap, Hyde Park, Kenwood, North Kenwood, Oakland, Douglas, Printers Row, Dearborn Park. I am excited about engaging and celebrating each and making sure that each has the resources it deserves.”

Former President Barack Obama endorsed King in January; it was unusual for a president to get involved in so local a race. The ward includes parts of the South Loop, Bronzeville, Kenwood, and Hyde Park communities. King is a longtime resident of the ward. She earned her master’s degree in education and social policy from Northwestern University. Formerly the head of the Kenwood Park Advisory Council, King founded the nonprofit Harriet’s Daughters, which promotes employment and wealth-creation opportunities for African-American communities.

In an earlier interview with the Gazette, King said she intends to continue being an independent voice, supporting the best interests of the 4th Ward and its residents. She also said she plans to address pension and budget issues.

“It is incumbent upon our City to be fiscally prudent with taxpayer dollars and also be responsible to our obligations to constituents.” King noted that violence is a multi-tiered issue and that the City should take a comprehensive approach. “We have to address disparity in jobs, youth engagement, good neighborhood schools, and economic development in many communities,” she said. “We also need to tackle the broken trust and relationship between the community and police as well as the community and government.”

King’s office is at 435 E. 35th St. Call (773) 536-8013.

— William S. Bike