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Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore

Leslie Hairston Holds Narrow Lead Over William Calloway In 5th Ward Nail-Biter

With 95 percent of precincts reporting, Hairston had 50.5 percent of the vote to Calloway's 49,5 percent.

Ald. Leslie Hairston and WIlliam Calloway ran for 5th Ward alderman.
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CHICAGO — Ald. Leslie Hairston has a razor-thin lead in her battle for re-election against activist William Calloway in the 5th Ward.

With 95 percent of precincts reporting, Hairston had 50.5 percent of the vote to Calloway’s 49.5 percent, according to the Chicago Board of Elections.

Three candidates ran in the Feb. 26 election: Hairston won 48.5 percent of the vote; Calloway, an activist who helped force the release of the Laquan McDonald shooting video, won 26.7 percent; and former Hyde Park Herald editor Gabriel Piemonte won 24.7 percent.

As the top two vote-getters, Hairston and Calloway advanced to the April 2 runoff.

During the election, Hairston came under fire for her opposition to a Community Benefits Agreement, which would require Obama Presidential Center leaders to sign a legally-binding document that includes an affordable housing mandate and a property tax freeze for longtime residents.

And just ahead of the Feb. 26 election, Hairston announced a new Shop & Save grocery store would soon open in the old Dominick’s spot in South Shore, a project that was six years in the making, she said at the time.

Hairston, an attorney who was first elected in 1999, fended off a crowded field of challengers in 2015 and avoided a runoff.

The 5th Ward is slated to be the future home of the Obama Presidential Library and it includes all or parts of Hyde Park, South Shore, Greater Grand Crossing, Woodlawn and Jackson Park Highlands.

Credit: DNAinfo/ Ted Cox
Ald. Leslie Hairston
Credit: Ted Cox / DNAinfo
Ald. Leslie Hairston
Credit: Facebook
Fifth Ward Candidate William Calloway.