State Senate President Therese Murray, the chamber’s first woman president, said today she will not run for re-election.
“I have reached the decision that I will not be a candidate for re-election to the state Senate. It has been the greatest honor to serve the Commonwealth and I am forever thankful to the people of the Plymouth and Barnstable District for electing me to this seat time and time again,” the Plymouth Democrat said in a statement this morning.
Had Murray run for re-election and won, she could have only served as the chamber’s leader through March 2015 because of Senate rules limiting its top official’s tenure. Murray became president in March 2007.
State Senator Stanley C. Rosenberg, an Amherst Democrat, has claimed sufficient votes among his colleagues to become the chamber’s next president.
Murray was first elected to the Senate in 1992.
In the statement, she referred to some of her accomplishments during her more than two decades serving in the Senate.
“From protecting children and families to reforming our health care system to supporting economic growth and development, it has always been my top priority to find the best solutions for my constituents,” she said.
Murray said she would serve through the remainder of her term and looked forward “to working on the issues that I am most passionate about for many years to come.”
She did not say what she would do after leaving office in the statement. A spokeswoman for Murray said she was not available for further comment this weekend. Murray first announced her decision in the Old Colony Memorial, a newspaper in her hometown of Plymouth.
In an interview, Rosenberg said he enjoyed working with Murray, and praised her as both a knowledgeable policy “wonk” and an effective, practical political operator.
“Some people are really great at the policy, some are really great at the politics. She has really been able to balance both,” he said.
The announcement was a not a surprise, said Rosenberg, calling it a confirmation of earlier reports and statements by Murray to her colleagues that she would finish out her term. However, asked if the resolution of a question that had spawned rumors and uncertainty would be helpful to the Senate, Rosenberg replied, “yes.”
Rosenberg insisted he still has the votes to take over as Senate President, but said it was “way too early” to say what his legislative priorities would be.
“My focus now is exclusively on serving effectively as majority leader and helping achieve the agenda that has been laid out for the rest of this year,” he said.
Rosenberg likes Democrats’ chances in elections this fall, he said, despite a handful of scandals dogging the Patrick administration.
“We have a very deep bench in terms of municipal officials and people in communities all across the Commonwealth who are engaging as activists,” he said. “I’m pretty optimistic about our ability to see a strong majority.”