b. June 17, 1952
Chicago, 39th Ward Alderman (1994-)
Illinois, 5th District State Central Committeewoman (1986-2002)
The Laurino family, once part of Vito Marzullo's West Side Italian organization, has controlled Democratic politics in the 39th Ward since Mayor Richard J. Daley. Marge Laurino, daughter of former 39th Ward Alderman and Democratic Committeeman Anthony Laurino, is an extension of the dynasty.
Marge was not the original heir to the Ward. In 1994 Tony Laurino was indicted in a broad federal ghost-payrolling investigation that later convicted Marge Laurino's brother-in-law, John D'Amico, Sr., and Marge's sister, Marie D'Amico. Since then-State Rep. Bill Laurino was retiring from politics, the Alderman seat fell to Marge, and then the Committeeman job to her husband Randy Barnette. Tony Laurino died before his case could go to trial.
In the past, a Laurino-Barnette endorsement could make a big difference to a candidate. Although they do not have the organization strength to push much beyond their ward boundaries, evidenced by Barnette's 1998 State Senate loss to Team Jan ally Ira Silverstein, Laurino built a close alliance with Mayor Richard M. Daley, and mostly avoided difficult reelection campaigns since she was first elected.
The Barnette-Laurino team has made some inroads, as they have helped their nephew, John D'Amico, Jr. get elected to Bill Laurino's old Northwest Side State Representative seat in 2008.
In 2015 Laurino had a close call, missing a runoff by a mere 360 votes to Robert Murphy. Murphy then defeated Larino's former chief of staff, Patrick Molloy 55-45% in the 2016 campaign for 39th Ward Democratic Committeeman.
In 2018, not long after ally Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced he would not run for re-election, Laurino announced she would also step down, leaving the seat open in 2019 and ending the family dynasty in the ward. "It’s time. I’ve been here for 24 years. I’ve been through six elections. This is the time to leave,” 66-year-old Laurino told the Sun-Times.
Laurino is twice a graduate of Northeastern Illinois University, with a B.A. in Education and an M.A. in History. She is currently President Pro Tempore of the City Council which puts her in the Council chairman seat when the Mayor steps away, but also gives her oversight of the Council's Legislative Research Bureau, a small office tasked with researching and drafting legislation for Council members.
Current Chicago City Council Committees:
- Chicago City Council, President Pro Tempore
- Committee on Budget and Government Operations
- Committee on Committees, Rules and Ethics
- Committee on Finance
- Committee on Workforce Development and Audit
- Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards
- St. Edward’s Elementary School
- Alvernia High School
- Northeastern Illinois University, B.A., Education
- Northeastern Illinois University, M.A., History
Important Political Events
- 1986, Elected 5th District State Central Committeewoman
- 1994, Appointed 39th Ward Alderman by Mayor Richard M. Daley to replace Anthony Laurino
- 1995, Elected 39th Ward Alderman, defeating Anthony Fornelli in runoff
- 1996, Husband Randy Barnette, Elected 39th Ward Democratic Committeeman, replacing Anthony Laurino
- 1998, Husband Randy Barnette, Defeated for State Senate by Ira Silverstein
- 2002, Retired 5th District State Central Committeewoman, replaced by Cynthia Santos
- 2008, Nephew, John D'Amico, Jr. elected to State Representative