Sawyer speaks at forum after tweets, campaign sign vandalized

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis mayoral candidate's campaign sign was vandalized with a racial slur, as candidates tried to tackle some of the city's problems at an event.

Mayoral candidate Tami Sawyer was one of two candidates who spoke at a public meeting held Sunday by the Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope, or MICAH, at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church in Westwood.

This sign at a polling place on Summer Avenue was vandalized with racist slurs.

WREG was notified that one of Sawyer's campaign signs outside the polling location at Berclair Church of Christ on Summer Avenue had been vandalized with racist, derogatory remarks.

This comes on the heels of weeks of backlash against Sawyer for her own past remarks, including tweets referencing she had been drunk driving and another where she described it was her duty to "out" a lesbian teacher.

"Ms. Sawyer, do you have anything you want to say to people who may have found any of your tweets offensive?" a WREG reporter asked.

Sawyer gave no comment. But Saturday, she released a statement admitting she had "forgotten many of those tweets" and "cringed" when she saw them. She went on to say she is sorry "to those her words and actions from her past hurt."

During MICAH's public meeting with local leaders, she addressed an audience who applauded her, saying that despite her personal affairs, she is still capable of leading the city.

"There are things that I have said and done that have not made me a perfect person, but it has made me an even better candidate because I know the role I have to walk to get what I want in this city," Sawyer said.

Sawyer was one of two mayoral candidates to speak at the meeting, the other being candidate Terrence Boyce. Key issues such as education, economic, and immigration and intercultural equity were discussed.

MICAH says Incumbent Mayor Jim Strickland declined to attend. Former Mayor Willie Herenton made a verbal agreement to attend, but did not.

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