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updated: 9/28/2015 9:50 PM

Former Des Plaines alderman will replace Kotowski in state Senate

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  • Matt Bogusz

    Matt Bogusz

 
 

Democrat Laura Murphy of Des Plaines will be the newest member of the Illinois Senate after being picked by party leaders Monday to finish the term of the departing Dan Kotowski of Park Ridge.

Murphy, a former Des Plaines alderman, was backed by Kotowski going into Monday's vote and emerged the victor.

Schaumburg Township Democratic Committeeman Mike Cudzik said no other candidates made presentations before party leaders, and Murphy -- the Maine Township committeeman -- abstained from voting for herself.

Murphy steps into the Senate at a time when the state is about to hit 90 days without a budget in place as Democrats and Gov. Bruce Rauner do battle over spending, union rules, property taxes and other issues. Kotowski was one of the Senate's two budget committee chairmen.

She says she's been interested in public service for a long time, once running for state Senate in the 1998 primary but losing that race. Tentative plans have her being sworn into office in the suburbs on Oct. 5.

"I look forward to bringing some new ideas," Murphy said.

Kotowski announced earlier this month he'd be stepping down to become the CEO of the Chicago nonprofit ChildServ, capping a nearly nine-year career in Springfield.

Murphy's path to the appointment became a little less contested when Des Plaines Mayor Matt Bogusz decided he wouldn't seek the seat.

"It's just been two weeks of a very humbling outreach from a lot of the community," Bogusz said. "But at this point for me and my family, I just don't think it's the right move."

Murphy takes a seat that will be up for an election in a little more than a year in an area of the suburbs where Republicans might seek to make gains in 2016. Murphy said she'll be running for a full term next year. Candidates could start gathering petition signatures to get on the ballot a month ago, so Murphy said she has to start working on that and raising money.

"Obviously, campaigns are very expensive," she said.

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