Murray tells senators she won’t leave early

Plans to remain as Senate president this year

Senate President Therese Murray told her fellow Democrats on Thursday that she intends to serve out the remainder of her term as the head of the body, which means Senate Majority Leader Stanley Rosenberg will have to wait until next year to move up into the chamber’s top position.

According to Senate rules, Murray is not allowed to serve as Senate president longer than eight years, a milestone that will arrive in March 2015. One senator at the Democratic caucus meeting said the implication from Murray’s remarks was that she would not stand for reelection in November, but would also not leave office before her current Senate term ends in January.

Laura Oggeri, a spokeswoman for the Senate president’s office, said in an email that Murray “has not made a decision yet on reelection.”

Another senator at the caucus meeting said Murray’s announcement came in an awkward fashion. The Democrats had gathered in the Senate president’s office where Sen. Stephen Brewer of Barre made an emotional announcement that he would be retiring at the end of this term. Murray embraced Brewer after his speech, but then followed up with her own announcement. Murray prefaced her remarks by saying many in the audience probably would not like what they were about to hear, according to the senator in attendance.

Murray held a brief press conference after the caucus, announcing that the Senate intended to appoint a special committee to review the state’s drug treatment programs. At that press availability, Brewer spoke about his retirement plans. Murray was then asked a question about her own plans, but she dismissed the question as snarky.

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Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

Rosenberg, who is from Amherst, announced toward the end of last summer that he had enough votes to become the next Senate president. The race to succeed Murray up until that point had been going on behind the scenes between him and Brewer, but Brewer backed off after Rosenberg said he had gained enough supporters.

Many senators have been expecting Murray to step down early and take a private sector job, paving the way for Rosenberg to take over. Others wondered whether she might give up the Senate president’s gavel next year but run again for her seat representing Plymouth in the Legislature. That apparently still remains a possibility, according to Oggeri, although senators who heard Murray’s announcement yesterday said that was unlikely.