CHICAGO — Samantha “Sam” Nugent won the fight to succeed retiring Ald. Margaret Laurino in the Far Northwest Side’s 39th Ward.
With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Nugent won 55.5 percent of the vote compared to Robert Murphy’s 44.5 percent, according to the Chicago Board of Elections.
Nugent worked as a fellow at City Hall during the administration of former Mayor Richard M. Daley and for former Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s 2006 campaign. Nugent won support of U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Chicago), as well as state Rep. John D’Amico (D-Chicago), who is the nephew of sitting Ald. Margaret Laurino (39th).
Laurino’s looming retirement from City Council will close the books on one of the most enduring Chicago political dynasties. Laurino was first appointed by former Mayor Richard M. Daley in 1994 to replace her father, former Ald. Anthony Laurino. He was elected to the City Council in 1965.
Nugent thanked her supporters on Facebook Tuesday night.
“I am honored to be your next alderman,” she wrote. “The work begins now, and I’m wasting no time making sure we keep the 39th Ward moving forward.”
Four candidates ran in the Feb. 26 election: Nugent, an attorney and former chief of staff for the Cook County Department of Homeland Security, won 33.2 percent of the vote; Murphy, an architect and the 39th Ward’s Democratic committeeman, won 29.6 percent; Casey Smagala won 27.5 percent; and Joe Duplechin won 9.7 percent. As the top two vote-getters, Nugent and Murphy advanced to the April 2 runoff.
Nugent lives with her husband and three children, who attend a Catholic school, in Sauganash.
Murphy was endorsed by several leaders of the progressive wing of the Chicago Democratic Party, including U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-Chicago), Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi, former Cook County Clerk David Orr and 32nd Ward Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd).
Murphy lives in Forest Glen with his wife and daughter, who attends a Chicago Public School.
The 39th Ward encompasses all or parts of Albany Park, North Park, Hollywood Park, Mayfair, Sauganash, Edgebrook, Old Edgebrook, Gladstone Park, Indian Woods and Forest Glen.
It was long controlled by Margaret Laurino’s father. But in 1995, Anthony Laurino was indicted by federal investigators on a ghost-payrolling scheme. He died before his trial ended, but his wife, Bonnie Rhein Laurino; another daughter, Marie D’Amico; and her husband, John D’Amico, were convicted.
Murphy ran against Laurino in 2015 and fell 350 votes short of forcing her into a runoff.
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