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Albany Park

Margaret Laurino’s Successor In The 39th Ward Will Be Decided In A Runoff

A Laurino has held the seat for 54 years.

Sam Nugent and Robert Murphy are running for 39th Ward alderman.
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CHICAGO — Who will replace Margaret Laurino in Chicago’s 39th Ward?

It’s going to take another round of voting to decide.

With 95.6 percent of the vote recorded, the 39th ward is headed to a run-off.

Samantha “Sam” Nugent led a group of four candidates with 33.2 percent of the vote. She was trailed by Robert Murphy, who had 29.4 percent of the vote, and Casey Smagala, who had 27.8 percent.

A candidate needed more than 50 percent of the vote to win outright Tuesday. If not, the top two will square off on April 2 — meaning it appears to be Nugent vs. Murphy.

The ward’s incumbent Ald. Laurino, 66, announced in August she would retire after 24 years in office. Her father, Anthony Laurino, served from 1965 until 1994, when he resigned because of poor health. Then-Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed Margaret Laurino to replace her father, meaning a Laurino has held the 39th Ward seat for 54 years.

The 39th Ward includes all or parts of Albany Park, North Park, Hollywood Park, Mayfair, Sauganash, Edgebrook, Gladstone Park, Indian Woods and Forest Glen.

All four of the ward’s candidates vowed to focus on crime reduction, affordable housing and creating more equity in the ward.

At a Jan. 30 forum, all but one candidate (Robert Murphy, the 39th Ward’s current Democratic committeeman), promised to push for hiring more cops.

Nugent, an attorney, said she’d work to bring more officers to the ward’s Jefferson Park (16th) and Albany Park (17th) police districts. Smagala, director of community engagement at the Albany Park Community Center, and Joe Duplechin, a Chicago Police officer running for the seat, agreed.