A major shake-up is coming to the Northwest Side’s political representation in Springfield.
Four days after the Illinois Supreme Court announced the appointment of Democratic state Sen. John Mulroe of Chicago to a vacant Cook County judgeship, Republican state Rep. Michael McAuliffe, who represents the western half of Mulroe’s district, announced Monday that he’s retiring, effective immediately.
Meanwhile, Democratic Rep. Robert Martwick, who represents the other half of Mulroe’s district, is among those vying for the soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat.
McAuliffe, the city’s lone GOP state lawmaker, has served 23 years in the House after being appointed to the seat held for 23 years by his father, Roger McAuliffe. Michael McAuliffe took the seat following his father’s death in 1996.
In 2016, the Chicago Republican’s race was one of the most closely watched legislative races in the state, with both candidates raking in more than $2 million. McAuliffe wound up taking 54% of the vote to 44% for his Democratic challenger Merry Marwig. McAuliffe typically won his seat by comfortable margins. His closet race came in 2002 against Robert Bugielski when he won by 8 percentage points.
Money poured in for both Michael McAuliffe and for Marwig in a big proxy war between former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan.
Most of the money supporting McAuliffe came from Rauner in a bid to block House Democrats from hanging onto a veto-proof supermajority. Marwig got heavy financial backing from the Democratic Party and unions.
* Daily Line…
Marwig told The Daily Line Monday that she would not run for the 20th District seat in 2020.
Ald. Anthony Napolitano (41) — the only member of the Chicago City Council who is not a Democrat — did not respond to a request for comment from The Daily Line on Monday.
A group of Republican Party insiders from the city’s Far Northwest Side and nearby suburbs have 30 days to pick a replacement.
As the 41st Ward Republican committeeperson, McAuliffe will have a major say in his replacement, along with 38th Ward Republican Committeeperson Chuck Hernandez; Char Foss-Eggemann, the Republican committeeperson for Maine Township; Chris Hanusiak, the Republican committeeperson for Niles Township; and Brad Stephens, the Republican committeeperson for Leyden Township and the mayor of Rosemont.
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McAuliffe said he had not spoken to any other committeemen about his resignation, nor discussed who might replace him with anyone.
In the short run, the remaining year and a half of McAuliffe’s term will be filled by a vote of the GOP ward and township committeemen with precincts in his legislative district. There’s no immediate word on who they might select.
In the longer run, McAuliffe’s seat is a prime pickup opportunity for House Speaker Mike Madigan, whose Democrats already own every House or Senate seat that includes any of the city—and for that matter, every city congressional district, too. […]
Whoever the GOP selects to fill the vacancy better keep his or her bags packed, ’cause they may not be in Springfield very long.
McAuliffe’s departure is an opportunity for Democrats to move another seat into their column and expand their already sizable majority. Some names being batted about: Frank Avino, a Norwood Park Fire Protection District Trustee; Martin Durkan, a former Water Reclamation District commissioner; 41st Ward Committeeman Tim Heneghan; Circuit Court Judge James McGing; and Dan Pogorzelski, former chief of staff to state Rep. Robert Martwick. Not in the mix: Merry Marwig, who lost to McAuliffe in 2016, told Playbook she’s not running this time around.
Meanwhile, there’s lots of elbowing for the 10th District seat being vacated by state Sen. John Mulroe, who is to be sworn in as a judge Friday. Mulroe’s Senate seat includes the House seats held by McAuliffe and Martwick.
So no surprise, Martwick is being seen as a frontrunner. Along with his experience as a House rep, he has nearly as many weighted votes as former Ald. John Arena and Committeeman Heneghan.
Interestingly, a few Martwick allies are also competing for the senate seat: Avino (mentioned above) and Tom Kelley, who’s helped draft legislation for Martwick.
Others in the mix, Ed Bannon, who worked for Arena in the 45th ward; public-policy expert Lindsey LaPointe, and Patti Vasquez, who up until Monday was a WGN radio host. She parted ways with the station, according to media reporter Robert Feder.
Subscribers know a bit more.
* Ousted from WGN Radio, Patti Vasquez to run for state senate