CHICAGO — Ousted Ald. Joe Moore (49th) announced he will step down as 49th Ward committeeperson on April 15, ending his 32-year tenure at the head of Democratic politics in Rogers Park.
Moore, who lost his bid for an eighth term on the Chicago City Council to Ald.-elect Maria Hadden (49th) on Feb. 26, has served as 49th Ward committeeperson since 2015.
“Though I am stepping down from my leadership role, I plan to continue to stay active in politics and political campaigns, returning to my roots as a political activist and volunteer,” Moore wrote on Facebook. “I cannot give up politics anymore than I can give up breathing.”
Moore announced his resignation Tuesday at the meeting of the 49th Ward Democratic Party, and said more information will be available in the coming days about how to apply to fill the vacant committeeperson position until the next election in 2020.
However, state Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) told members of the group at Tuesday’s meeting that she would apply for the vacant spot — and Moore said he was delighted.
“Kelly would be a worthy successor and I’m thrilled she is throwing her hat in the ring,” Moore wrote.
Moore said he was proud of his record leading the 49th Ward Democratic Party, “the pre-eminent grassroots political organization in Chicago,” which the alderman said played a key role in supporting former President Barack Obama’s bid for the U.S. Senate in 2004 and his first presidential run in 2008.
Hadden said she was confident Cassidy would be selected to replace Moore.
“I’m looking forward to working with Rep. Cassidy and bringing our progressive Democratic community together as we approach the next federal election cycle,” Hadden said.
In Springfield, Cassidy has been at the forefront of efforts to legalize marijuana, repeal a law that could send doctors to jail for performing an abortion and a law that forces minors to notify their parents before terminating a pregnancy.
In May, Cassidy took on powerful House Speaker Michael Madigan, alleging his allies threatenedher part-time position with the Cook County Sheriff’s Department after she criticized the speaker’s handling of harassment complaints.
Madigan and his allies denied any retaliation, and welcomed an investigation by the state legislative inspector general.
A state law that went into effect Jan. 1 changed the office’s title from committeeman to committeeperson.
In each ward, two unpaid committeepeople — one Republican, one Democratic — oversee voter registration, work to boost voter turnout and ensure elections run smoothly.
In many wards, the alderman — or his or her close ally — serves as the committeeperson to consolidate power and operations. The position is often used as a stepping stone to the City Council.