Thomas C. Sawyer
|in 107th Congress|
|Member of the Ohio Senate
from the 28th district
February 20, 2007
|Preceded by||Kimberly Zurz|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 14th district
January 3, 1987-January 3, 2003
|Preceded by||John F. Seiberling|
|Succeeded by||Steve LaTourette|
|58th Mayor of Akron, Ohio|
January 9, 1984 – December 30, 1986
|Preceded by||Roy Ray|
|Succeeded by||Don Plusquellic|
|Member of the Ohio House of Representatives
from the 44th district
January 3, 1977-December 31, 1983
|Preceded by||Paul Wingard|
|Succeeded by||Tom Watkins|
August 15, 1945 |
|Spouse(s)||Joyce Sawyer (1 child)|
|Alma mater||University of Akron(B.A.) (M.A.)|
Thomas C. "Tom" Sawyer is the state Senator for the 28th District of the Ohio Senate. Previously, he served in the United States Congress, in the Ohio House of Representatives and as the Mayor of Akron. He is a Democrat.
Life and career
Sawyer was born in Akron, Ohio. After graduating from a local public high school (Sawyer originally had attended the prestigious Western Reserve Academy, but was expelled in his senior year for academic dishonesty), Sawyer received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Akron in 1968, and joined the Alpha Phi Chapter of Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity. Later, Sawyer earned a master of arts degree from Akron in 1970.
Sawyer worked as an English teacher and then was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives, where he served from 1977 to 1983. In late 1983, he was elected Mayor of Akron. In 1984, he bet mustaches with Akron-area Republican Tom Watkins on the outcome of the Mondale/Reagan presidential election; he has been clean-shaven ever since.
After only one term as mayor, he entered the Democratic primary for Ohio's 14th Congressional District, based in Akron, in 1986. The retiring incumbent, eight-term Democrat John F. Seiberling, endorsed Sawyer as his successor, enabling him to win handily despite being in a crowded seven-way primary. He then faced a credible Republican challenger in Summit County District Attorney Lynn Slaby, and won by seven points. He was reelected seven times, only facing serious opposition once, in 1994. That year, Slaby challenged him again and held him to 52 percent of the vote.
The redistricting following the 2000 census eliminated Sawyer's district. Most of Akron was placed in the 13th District, represented by fellow Democrat Sherrod Brown. However, Sawyer's home was placed in the Youngstown-based 17th District. The district had been held by Democrat Jim Traficant until his expulsion from the House in 2002. Traficant tried to run for his old seat as an independent. Traficant's former protégé, state senator Tim Ryan, also ran for the seat. The new 17th district was much more heavily pro-labor than Sawyer's old district and Sawyer was seen as being insufficiently pro-labor as a result of his support of the North American Free Trade Agreement. In an upset, Sawyer lost the 2002 Democratic primary to Ryan, who went on to win the seat in the general election.
Sawyer ran in the 2006 Democratic primary for the 13th District--the real contest in this heavily Democratic district. He was the front-runner, and endorsed by the major papers, but lost to former state senator Betty Sutton in a six-way race.
In 2006 Sawyer was elected to the Ohio State Board of Education, District #7. He received 54% of the vote to Republican incumbent Deborah Owens-Fink's 29%, green Candidate David Kovacs's 12%, and John Jones's 5%. The race received attention due to Fink's promotion of intelligent design creationism in the classroom. Sawyer campaigned on his experience as an educator and a politician.
In February 2007, Sawyer was elected by members of the Ohio Senate Democratic caucus to fill the Ohio State Senate seat of Kimberly Zurz, who vacated to run the Ohio Department of Commerce. In the November 2008 general election, Sawyer held his senate seat by defeating Republican James Carr.
In 2012, Sawyer was elected to a second full term, defeating Republican Robert Roush 71.5% to 28.5%.
|2012||Tom Sawyer||104,697||71.88%||Robert Roush||40,952||28.12%|
|2008||Tom Sawyer||108,168||68.36%||James Carr||50,064||31.64%|
|2000||Tom Sawyer||149,184||64.80%||Rick Wood||71,432||31.00%||William Mcdaniel Jr.||5,603||2.40%||Walter Keith||3,869||1.70%|
|1998||Tom Sawyer||106,020||62.73%||Tom Watkins||62,997||37.27%|
|1996||Tom Sawyer||124,136||54.34%||Joyce George||95,307||41.72%||Ryan Lewis||16||0.01%||Terry Wilkinson||8,976||3.93%|
*Italics indicate incumbent
Sawyer and his wife Joyce have one child and reside in Akron.
- Election Results, U.S. Representative from Ohio, 14th District
- List of United States Representatives from Ohio
- The Ohio Senate: Senator Tom Sawyer (D) - District 28
- Vote Tom Sawyer, official campaign website
- Thomas C. Sawyer at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Project Vote Smart - Senator Thomas C. 'Tom' Sawyer (OH) profile
- Follow the Money - Thomas C. Sawyer
- 2006 campaign contributions
|United States House of Representatives|
John F. Seiberling
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 14th congressional district