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Murray To Chair DSCC Murray To Chair DSCC

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Murray To Chair DSCC

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(Chris Joseph Taylor/Getty Images)

Updated 3:41 p.m.

Washington Sen. Patty Murray (D) will be the next chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the committee announced Tuesday.

The announcement comes after weeks of speculation surrounding who would succeed Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) at the helm of the committee.

In a statement, Menendez highlighted Murray's victory this year over Republican Dino Rossi.

"Patty Murray ran a smart, aggressive campaign -- a model for what all of our incumbents need to do in 2012 to be successful," Menendez said. "Patty is a great senator, a true fighter, and will no doubt have another strong term as Chair of the DSCC."

Murray was always considered among those in the running for the position, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) also reportedly approached Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) about the job.

Murray's job of holding on to the Democratic majority won't be easy. Of the 33 Senate seats up in 2012, 23 belong to Democrats or independents who caucus with the Democrats. Among the most vulnerable will likely be Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Jim Webb (D-Va.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.).

Murray also chaired the DSCC in the 2002 cycle.

This post was updated at 3:41 p.m. with Menendez's statement.

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