Hyde Park voters pushed Hairston to lead in 5th Ward runoff

Ald. Hairston speaks to her supporters on election night. (Herald file photo by Marc Monaghan)

Staff writer

If Ald. Leslie Hairston’s (5th) lead — currently 6,695 to opponent William Calloway’s 6,543 (50.57% to 49.43%) — holds up as remaining mail-in ballots are counted, she will owe her victory to Hyde Park voters. While she won a plurality of the Hyde Park precincts’ vote in the Feb. 26 first-round, the precincts gave her 55.43% of the vote in the runoff, leading Calloway 4,022 to 3,234.

Elsewhere in the 5th Ward, which covers parts of South Shore, Woodlawn and Greater Grand Crossing, Calloway leads Hairston 3,309 (55.32%) to 2,673 (44.68%).

Hairston leads in the Jackson Park Highlands and 14 out of the 20 precincts in Hyde Park, losing the 23rd (east from Hyde Park Boulevard between 53rd and 55th streets), four covering Downtown Hyde Park and the 4th (covering a few blocks southeast of Cottage Grove Avenue and Hyde Park Boulevard). She has a single-vote edge in the 30th Precinct, which straddles the railroad split between 68th and 71st streets.

In the Feb. 26 voting, Hairston won 3,530 votes in Hyde Park (48.07%) against two opponents, Calloway (who won 1,191 votes, or 16.22%) and former Herald editor Gabriel Piemonte (2,621 votes, or 35.70%). Across the 5th Ward, Hairston took 6,284 votes (48.51%) to Calloway’s 3,464 (26.74%) and Piemonte’s 3,205 (24.74%) in the first-round; Calloway’s margin in South Shore, where he lives, carried him into the runoff.

The number of ballots cast increased in the runoff by 286 votes, to 13,238 from 12,953 in the first-round, though this and minor changes in the vote count will change as ballots postmarked on or before Election Day have two weeks to arrive and be counted.