State Rep. Robert Martwick appointed to replace former state Senator John Mulroe
by BRIAN NADIG
The Northwest Side game of political thrones continues as Robert Martwick switches from the 19th Illinois House District seat to the 10th Illinois Senate District chair while Rosemont mayor Brad Stephens will likely be the new representative of the 20th House District.
Furthermore, 45th Ward Democratic committeeman and former alderman John Arena reportedly is being considered as Martwick’s possible replacement for the state representative job, and Stephens is in line to replace the recently retired state Representative Michael McAuliffe.
Martwick replaces state Senator John Mulroe, who was recently appointed a Cook County judge.
Martwick was sworn in as a new senator during a June 28 ceremony at the Roden Library, 6083 N. Northwest Hwy., after he secured most of the weighted vote from the area’s Democratic committeemen.
41st Ward Democratic committeeman Tim Heneghan had been lobbying for the senate position after his failed bid for alderman against Alderman Anthony Napolitano, but his efforts reportedly suffered when 39th Ward Democratic committeeman Robert Murphy pledged to support Martwick. Martwick supported Casey Smagala in Murphy’s failed campaign earlier this year to become the ward’s alderman.
Others pursing the position included former WGN radio personality Patti Vasquez and Lindsey LaPointe, who works at a public interest law and policy center.
In an interview earlier this week, Martwick said that the timing was right for a new position given that the General Assembly had “just accomplished huge, huge things,” giving him a fresh start in the senate.
Martwick said that during his 7 years in the House he showed that “bipartisanship is not dead” by gaining some Republican support on all of his sponsored bills, except for the recent “fair tax” legislation.
He said that on most of his bills he first reached out to Republican legislators and that while he may not agree with them it is important to show respect for both sides of the political aisle.
Martwick will not be eligible to chair a committee as a freshman senator, but that will change if he is re-elected in 2020.
Meanwhile, Arena’s decision on whether to become state representative could be impacted by a possible job offer from Mayor Lori Lighfoot, as Arena needs 2 more years on the city payroll to secure a city pension.
According to sources, it is expected that Arena, who is the 45th Ward’s Democratic committeeman, would have enough votes to be appointed to Martwick’s former position, as Arena has about 45 percent of the weighted vote.
Each committeeman is assigned votes based on the number of votes cast in their precincts for the 19th District race in 2018 and they are expected to vote in July.
In the 20th District, Stephens is expected to win the majority of the Republican committeemen votes during a scheduled meeting on Saturday, June 29, in Edison Park. Stephens would be replacing McAuliffe, who still serves as the 41st Ward Republican committeeman.
McAuliffe has the largest number of votes among the district’s committeemen and has pledged to support Stephens, who could serve as mayor and state representative at the same time, and collect two paychecks.