Hairston holds fundraiser to pay legal costs of challenge to her election

Ald. Hairston speaks at her “Laughter & Local Politics” fundraiser at The Revival. (Photo by Aaron Gettinger)

Staff writer

“It has been an interesting year; it has been quite the roller coaster, personally and professionally,” Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) said Thursday at the third-annual “Laughter & Local Politics” fundraiser, held at The Revival improvisational comedy theater, 1160 E. 55th St. “But I have persevered — and I will continue, and I will continue to be your advocate.”

“I have been in court since the election; that court case did not end until July 19. And then they sent a notice saying, ‘Well, we want to appeal that.’” she said. “And that’s expensive. I think it’s important that I ask for your continued support, because — whether people are paying for the justice system or not, or whether there are people from outside the neighborhood controlling the purse strings or controlling people from other places — we still have to fight back.”

Hairston was referring to challenger William Calloway’s decision to appeal Hairston’s 176-vote victory in April run-off election. She said the money raised at the event would be used to cover her legal expenses.

In July, Cook County Circuit Court Judge LaGuina Clay-Herron threw out Calloway’s suit against Hairston and the Chicago Board of Elections. The 1st District of the Illinois Appellate Court would consider an appeal.

“We know that this is a lot bigger than me,” said Hairston, who was sworn into her sixth term on May 20. “We know the value of our neighborhoods and of the communities that we live in, and we plan to stay here for a very long time.”

A number of young stand-up comedians performed at the event; tickets sold for $100, $250, $500 and $1,000.