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Senate Majority Leader Stanley Rosenberg says he has the “overwhelming support” of Senate Democrats to succeed Senate President Therese Murray whenever she decides to leave the Senate, or is forced to relinquish her post due to term limits.
Rosenberg, a 63-year-old Amherst Democrat who has served in the Legislature since 1987, has been jockeying with Senate Ways and Means Chairman Stephen Brewer for the support of his Senate colleagues, despite Murray’s insistence that she does not intend to leave early. His efforts to solidify support have intensified in recent weeks.
Said Rosenberg in a statement:
I am pleased to confirm that I have received the overwhelming support of the Democratic Caucus to succeed Senate President Therese Murray, when her term ends. I am humbled by the strong support of my colleagues. I think it is important that we have resolved this question quickly and amicably so that we can proceed with the business of the Senate under Senate President Therese Murray’s skillful leadership and the leadership of her team, including Chairman Brewer, who I count as a personal friend.
Rosenberg would become the first openly gay president of the Massachusetts Senate. A liberal Democrat, his ascension to the top leadership post could mark a shift to the left for the upper chamber which has been led for years by the more moderate Murray.
Murray says she has not decided whether to seek reelection in 2014. Though she could technically be reelected Senate president one more time and serve until March 2015, many on Beacon Hill suspect she will leave earlier.
While it’s unclear when Rosenberg could rise to the top spot in the Senate, his rounding up of commitments could avert a protracted leadership fight with implications for scores of policy measures the House and Senate will consider during formal sessions that are scheduled to end a year from today for the 2013-2014 session.
Brewer, another western Massachusetts Democrat from Barre, appeared to concede Wednesday that Rosenberg had earned a majority support of the Senate, graciously putting to rest the issue of succession.
Said Brewer in a statement:
I have known Stan Rosenberg for over 35 years. We have had similar career paths and shared a common region of the Commonwealth. I know Stan will do a fine job as Senate President when that time comes. I admire Senate President Murray as a colleague and a friend and look forward to her continued leadership. Our caucus should remain united.
Brewer said the Senate is an institution “larger than any one person.” “Our shared ideals of public service transcend any other momentary challenges. Each of us has overcome many challenges to be where we are today and none of that will change. I wish him all the best,” Brewer’s statement continued.
This program aired on July 31, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.
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