Some political watchers might’ve been surprised when 39th Ward Democratic Committeeman Randy Barnette was replaced at last week’s slating. But Barnette, the husband of 39th Ward Alderman and Council President Pro Temp Marge Laurino, said the move was a long time coming. “It was only abrupt to people who didn’t know,” Barnette told Aldertrack. “I wanted to get through last election with my wife, then I got this new job at a suburban college these last couple weeks.” He said his departure was timed precisely to let the organization elect a new committeeman in time for slating.

And it’s time for new blood, he says. That new blood is Patrick Molloy, the Director of Government and Public Affairs for the Chicago Public Library and a life-long 39th Ward resident who Barnette calls a “good kid.”

“I learned around the end of July that Committeeman Barnette was planning to resign from his position in early August. After discussing it with my wife and some others close to me, I decided that I would be interested in running for the office,” Molloy said in a written statement to Aldertrack.

He’s thought about running for the seat for a long time, and plans to run for election in the upcoming primary against Robert Murphy, an architect who lives in Forest Glen. Murphy co-founded the Fair Allocation in Runways (FAiR) Coalition that opposes O’Hare noise, and ran for alderman against Laurino in this year’s election, but lost by 1,100 votes.