BOSTON A member of Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s leadership team has stepped down.
Rep. Charles Murphy, a Burlington Democrat, says he resigned his post as majority whip to avoid a potentially divisive vote on his removal at a closed-door Democratic caucus on Tuesday.
DeLeo had been expected to move to oust Murphy after the one-time chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee made remarks to other lawmakers about who might succeed DeLeo as speaker.
“I think what led to my demise was my desire to be in that fight when the time comes,” Murphy said. “And I’ve been very clear with members that when Speaker DeLeo decides to move on, for whatever reason, I would like to move forward and run for that position.”
Murphy denied being disloyal to the speaker but did not back down from the earlier comments. He said he didn’t want to put other Democrats into the uncomfortable position of voting on his future.
Murphy will remain a member of the House.
With reporting by The Associated Press and WBUR’s Steve Brown