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Murray to Head Senate Democratic Campaign Committee

Senator Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington state, will be chairwoman of her party’s campaign committee for the chamber, Majority Leader Harry Reid said today.

The job puts her in charge of candidate recruitment and fundraising for the 2012 Senate elections. Democrats will be defending a slimmed-down chamber majority after Republicans scored a net gain of six seats in the Nov. 2 midterm elections.

Murray, 60, will replace Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey at the helm of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Reid, of Nevada, announced Murray’s appointment to reporters at the U.S. Capitol.

Democrats will control the Senate with 53 votes to 47 for Republicans when the new session of Congress begins in early January. As of now, 33 seats will be on the ballot in 2012. Those include 21 held by Democrats and two occupied by independents who caucus with the party.

Murray was chairwoman of the DSCC in the 2002 cycle. Democrats lost what had been a one-seat Senate majority as Republicans picked up two seats. She helped raise almost $160 million for the committee during the cycle, doubling its financial resources.

Murray won her fourth term this month, getting 52 percent of the vote to defeat Republican Dino Rossi.

Senator John Cornyn of Texas, 58, is continuing as head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Litvan in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva in Washington at

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