Cook County Democrats filled a handful of vacancies at Wednesday’s slating, including a new vacancy created by the surprise resignation of 39th Ward Committeeman, Randy Barnette, Ald. Marge Laurino’s (39) husband. Barnette stepped down August 8, according to Jacob Kaplan, Executive Director of the Cook County Democratic Party, who confirmed the filled vacancies. The 39th Ward Democratic Organization and staff for Ald. Laurino did not respond to requests for comment.
Barnette serves as chief of staff of the Cook County College Teachers Union, and as chairman of the College and University Credit Union Board of Directors.
Patrick Molloy, the current Chairman of Friends of Margaret Laurino, will take his place.
Before Barnette stepped down, he was facing a challenge from Robert Murphy, an architect who lives in Forest Glen, who is also active in 45th Ward politics. He co-founded the recently very active Fair Allocation in Runways (FAiR) Coalition that opposes O’Hare noise, and ran for alderman against Laurino in this year’s election. Murphy won the endorsement of the Chicago Tribune in 2015, who called him a “fresh thinker,” but lost to Laurino by 1,100 votes. He complained of ballot irregularities on his Facebook page.
The 49th Ward Democratic Committeeman vacancy created by the death of David Fagus was filled by Ald. Joe Moore.
The 24th Ward post has been filled by new Ald. Michael Scott, Jr. He filed a D-1 on July 13th to run for the position. The seat previously belonged to retired Ald. Michael Chandler.
And the 36th Ward post, formerly occupied by now-38th Ward Ald. Nicholas Sposato, will be filled by State Rep. Luis Arroyo. Arroyo is broadly credited with architecting 36th Ward Ald. Gilbert Villegas’ campaign.