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Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore

Ald. Leslie Hairston Finishes Up 176 Votes, But William Calloway Demands Recount In 5th Ward Nail-Biter

Thursday's court hearing could put an end to a long campaign.

Ald. Leslie Hairston and WIlliam Calloway ran for 5th Ward alderman.

HYDE PARK — It’s not over in the 5th Ward.

In one of three aldermanic races that went into overtime because they were too close to call, the battle between Ald. Leslie Hairston and activist William Calloway is not quite done.

After all mail-in and provisional ballots were counted, the Chicago Board of Elections said Hairston won by just 176 votes. The official total is set to be certified Thursday.

But Calloway said Wednesday he’ll ask for a “discovery recount,” a tactic that could trigger a full recount.

Calloway petitioned the Cook County Circuit Court for a discovery recount hearing at 11 a.m. Thursday morning.

Calloway got 6,673 votes to Hairston’s 6,849. The recount will focus on 10 precincts where there appeared to be some discrepancies, according to Calloway’s attorney, Liz Homsey.

“We’re hoping that tomorrow’s hearing will tell us a lot more,” said Homsey. “If it doesn’t, he’ll make decisions when the time comes.”

According to the Hyde Park Herald, Calloway believes that voters in polling places where the 5th Ward and 6th Ward shared facilities were given the wrong ballot or cast their votes on devices that had been improperly programmed. He also believes there may be some voter fraud involved.

Hairston won’t be attending tomorrow’s hearing but her attorney will be present.

“She’s optimistic about how things will turn out,” said Cobb. “She feels confident about the numbers.”

Thursday’s decision may finally put an end to a long, dramatic, bitter campaign that has been marred by homophobia, accusations of money mismanagement and violence.

This is the first runoff Hairston has faced in her 20 years as alderman.