Senator Patty Murray, the pro-abortion stalwart from Washington state, will again lead the Democratic party’s efforts to keep its Senate majority in the 2012 elections.
Murray, who survived a tough re-election battle earlier this month, will chair the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee — the election arm of the Senate Democrats, who now hold a more narrow majority after the victory of several pro-life Republicans.
She has headed the campaign committee before — during the 2002 election cycle — when Democrats lost two seats under her helm.
The party had spent some time searching for someone to head up its re-election efforts in part because Senate Democrats will face an inordinately tough cycle with numerous incumbents facing the prospect of close election battles.
Some 21 Democrats face potential re-election campaigns including the two pro-abortion independents who caucus with Democrats — Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Just nine Republicans face re-election and the numbers alone make it possible pro-life advocates could capture a majority in the Senate along with the possibility of putting a pro-life president in the White House.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and deputy White House chief of staff Jim Messina talked with Murray, who is one of the leading voices advocating abortion in the Senate, about taking the job after pro-abortion Sens. Mark Warner of Virginia, Michael Bennet of Colorado and Chuck Schumer of New York decided against it.
Al Franken of Minnesota, a pro-abortion senator, also reportedly turned down the job, according to Roll Call, which first reported Murray would accept the campaign position.
The potential for difficult losses led some political observers to call the DSCC position Murray accepted the least desirable job in Washington.
On the GOP side, pro-life Sen. John Cornyn will again run the National Republican Senatorial Committee after he helped shepherd the party through a very successful election cycle.