Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Sen. Chris Murphy (D)

Connecticut

N/A

Biography

Elected: 2012, term expires 2018, 1st term.

Born: August 3, 1973, White Plains, NY

Home: Cheshire, CT

Education: Williams College, B.A., 1996; University of Connecticut, J.D., 2002

Professional Career: Practicing lawyer, 2002-06

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Protestant - Unspecified Christian

Family: Married (Catherine Holahan) , 2 children

Connecticut’s junior senator is Democrat Chris Murphy, who in 2012 held off wealthy Republican Linda McMahon for the open Senate seat of retiring incumbent Joe Lieberman, a Democrat-turned-independent. Murphy, then 39, overcame attacks from McMahon about his poor attendance at congressional hearings as well as his failure to make timely rent and mortgage payments years ago.

Murphy grew up in Wethersfield, and his father is a prominent member of a Hartford law firm. He graduated from Williams College in 1996; the same year, at age 22, he became the campaign manager for Democrat Charlotte Koskoff, who fell 1,587 votes short of ousting veteran Republican Rep. Nancy Johnson. Murphy won a seat in the state House in 1998, got a law degree in 2002, and, later that year, won election to the state Senate. He served as cochairman of the public health committee.

In early 2005, Murphy moved into Johnson’s 5th District, announcing in April that he planned to challenge her. He was backed by the Democratic establishment and faced no primary opposition. Much of the debate focused on the Medicare prescription drug benefit that moderate Republican Johnson had helped design in 2003 as chairman of the House Ways and Means panel’s Health Subcommittee. Murphy contended that the Republicans’ prescription drug program’s enrollment deadlines penalized seniors, and he spotlighted drug industry contributions to Johnson to portray her as a shill for the industry. Just before the election, a Johnson ad accused Murphy of voting to raise taxes 27 times. But even though she outspent Murphy by $5 million to $2.5 million, he won, 56% to 44%.

In the House, Murphy was a fairly loyal Democrat, and he allied with home-state colleagues Rosa DeLauro and John Larson, both senior leaders of the Democratic Caucus. Although his western Connecticut district was home to many insurance industry employees, he backed a government-run public option as part of the health care overhaul to compete with private insurers. Murphy has been an ardent advocate for “buy American” requirements and introduced bills to require federal contracting officials to accept and solicit information from businesses regarding how many U.S. jobs would be retained or created if their bid was chosen.

As a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Murphy focused on increasing government transparency. In 2008, he won House approval for his bill requiring large government contractors to disclose the names and salaries of their highest-paid executives. He took a leading role in criticizing conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for his relationship with Republican-affiliated groups that fought the health care law.

When Lieberman announced his retirement, McMahon, a former professional wrestling magnate who lost the 2010 Senate race to Democrat Richard Blumenthal, decided to run again and easily won the 2012 primary over former Rep. Chris Shays. Murphy struggled despite being the odds-on favorite. Hartford Courant columnist Kevin Rennie revealed that Murphy had missed mortgage payments and was sued over his failure to pay rent. Murphy responded that he forgot to make payments due to a busy schedule. He also was caught flat-footed when McMahon attacked him for missing a number of committee hearings in Congress.

Murphy criticized McMahon on issues affecting seniors, arguing that she would pose a threat to Social Security and Medicare. He also charged that her plan to cut taxes for the wealthiest earners wouldn’t stimulate the economy. McMahon’s personal finances were called into question after reports surfaced that she had been late on several property-tax bills.

But by tapping into her personal wealth, McMahon spent exorbitantly on her campaign, burning through $42.6 million by the end of October. She held moderate positions on some social issues and reversed course on a key gay rights issue, saying that she would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act that defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Some questioned her true ideological leanings. “She says she will be an ‘independent’ Republican, presumably in the state’s moderate tradition, but it’s not obvious how,” the Courant said in endorsing Murphy. He won 55% to 43%.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 224-4041

(202) 224-9750

HSOB- Hart Senate Office Building Room 136
Washington, DC 20510

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 224-4041

(202) 224-9750

HSOB- Hart Senate Office Building Room 136
Washington, DC 20510

DISTRICT OFFICE

(860) 549-8463

(860) 549-8478

One Constitution Plaza Seventh Floor
Hartford, CT 06103

DISTRICT OFFICE

(860) 549-8463

(860) 549-8478

One Constitution Plaza Seventh Floor
Hartford, CT 06103

EXPORT CONTACTS » *

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Joseph Dunn
Senior Policy Advisor

Kayla Reasco
Outreach Assistant

Aerospace

Michael Bednarczyk
Legislative Assistant

Daniel Lee
Legislative Correspondent

Agriculture

Daniel Lee
Legislative Correspondent

Emily Smith
Legislative Aide

Animal Rights

Daniel Lee
Legislative Correspondent

Appropriations

Joseph Dunn
Senior Policy Advisor

Lia Albini
Digital Director

Zach Dendas
Legislative Correspondent

Arts

Jessica Elledge
Legislative Assistant

Budget

David Bonine
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff

Mark Ritacco
Director of Strategic Initiatives

David Seyferth
Legislative Aide

Campaign

Cynthia Pullom
Legislative Counsel

Census

Caitlin Peruccio
Legislative Correspondent

Commerce

Mark Ritacco
Director of Strategic Initiatives

Crime

Cynthia Pullom
Legislative Counsel

Caitlin Peruccio
Legislative Correspondent

Disability

Cynthia Pullom
Legislative Counsel

Caitlin Peruccio
Legislative Correspondent

Disaster

Alec Johnson
Legislative Assistant

Daniel Lee
Legislative Correspondent

Economics

Mark Ritacco
Director of Strategic Initiatives

Zach Dendas
Legislative Correspondent

Education

Cynthia Pullom
Legislative Counsel

Daniel Lee
Legislative Correspondent

Emily Smith
Legislative Aide

Energy

Daniel Lee
Legislative Correspondent

Eamonn Collins
Legislative Assistant

Environment

Daniel Lee
Legislative Correspondent

Emily Smith
Legislative Aide

Eamonn Collins
Legislative Assistant

Family

Cynthia Pullom
Legislative Counsel

David Seyferth
Legislative Aide

Daniel Lee
Legislative Correspondent

Kayla Reasco
Outreach Assistant

Joshua Thomas
Staff Assistant

Caitlin Peruccio
Legislative Correspondent

Finance

Eamonn Collins
Legislative Assistant

Foreign

Jessica Elledge
Legislative Assistant

David Seyferth
Legislative Aide

Laura Malenas
Congressional Fellow

Govt Ops

Michael Bednarczyk
Legislative Assistant

Gun Issues

Joseph Dunn
Senior Policy Advisor

David Seyferth
Legislative Aide

Caitlin Peruccio
Legislative Correspondent

Health

Joseph Dunn
Senior Policy Advisor

David Seyferth
Legislative Aide

David Keahey
Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow

Caitlin Peruccio
Legislative Correspondent

Homeland Security

Alec Johnson
Legislative Assistant

David Seyferth
Legislative Aide

Housing

Michael Bednarczyk
Legislative Assistant

Human Rights

David Seyferth
Legislative Aide

Kayla Reasco
Outreach Assistant

Caitlin Peruccio
Legislative Correspondent

Immigration

Cynthia Pullom
Legislative Counsel

David Seyferth
Legislative Aide

Intelligence

Alec Johnson
Legislative Assistant

David Seyferth
Legislative Aide

Internet

Joseph Dunn
Senior Policy Advisor

Judiciary

Joseph Dunn
Senior Policy Advisor

Cynthia Pullom
Legislative Counsel

David Seyferth
Legislative Aide

Daniel Lee
Legislative Correspondent

Emily Smith
Legislative Aide

Labor

Mark Ritacco
Director of Strategic Initiatives

Cynthia Pullom
Legislative Counsel

Joshua Thomas
Staff Assistant

Land Use

Eamonn Collins
Legislative Assistant

Medicare

Joseph Dunn
Senior Policy Advisor

Military

Alec Johnson
Legislative Assistant

Native Americans

Michael Bednarczyk
Legislative Assistant

Privacy

Joseph Dunn
Senior Policy Advisor

Recreation

Daniel Lee
Legislative Correspondent

Eamonn Collins
Legislative Assistant

Science

Michael Bednarczyk
Legislative Assistant

Daniel Lee
Legislative Correspondent

Seniors

Joseph Dunn
Senior Policy Advisor

Kayla Reasco
Outreach Assistant

Joshua Thomas
Staff Assistant

Small Business

Zach Dendas
Legislative Correspondent

Michael Bednarczyk
Legislative Assistant

Social Security

Joseph Dunn
Senior Policy Advisor

David Seyferth
Legislative Aide

Tax

Eamonn Collins
Legislative Assistant

Technology

Mark Ritacco
Director of Strategic Initiatives

Telecommunications

Joseph Dunn
Senior Policy Advisor

Daniel Lee
Legislative Correspondent

Trade

Mark Ritacco
Director of Strategic Initiatives

Transportation

Daniel Lee
Legislative Correspondent

Emily Smith
Legislative Aide

Eamonn Collins
Legislative Assistant

Veterans

Alec Johnson
Legislative Assistant

Mark Ritacco
Director of Strategic Initiatives

Women

David Seyferth
Legislative Aide

Caitlin Peruccio
Legislative Correspondent

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Chris Murphy
Votes: 828,761
Percent: 54.82%
Linda McMahon
Votes: 651,089
Percent: 43.07%
2012 PRIMARY
Chris Murphy
Votes: 94,424
Percent: 66.72%
Susan Bysiewicz
Votes: 47,109
Percent: 33.28%
Prior Winning Percentages
House: 2010 (54%), 2008 (59%), 2006 (56%)

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