Senate President Therese Murray told Democratic senators during a private caucus meeting Thursday that she intends to finish her term and remain in the Senate at least through the end of 2014, said several Senate Democrats in attendance.
“I’m going to be here,” Murray told members, said senators who heard her brief remarks.
Murray decided to address her future following a speech by Senator Stephen Brewer, who announced Thursday in caucus that he planned to retire from the Legislature after nine terms in the Senate rather than seek reelection.
After Brewer hugged Murray and majority leader Stanley Rosenberg, who is preparing to take over as president when Murray leaves, sources said, Murray took the opportunity to tell the members that she intended to remain on as president through the end of her term and work with Brewer on the next state budget, a decision she reached privately but had shared with only few people before Thursday.
Murray’s decision to knock down speculation about a possible imminent departure with her Democratic colleagues could potentially lift the cloud of uncertainty hanging over the Senate as the chamber prepares to enter a busy six-month period of formal sessions with many major issues confronting lawmakers.
It also probably means that she will wind down her run atop the Senate in tandem with Governor Deval Patrick, who is not seeking reelection this year.
Since Rosenberg announced he had the votes to succeed Murray when the time comes, both he and Murray have brushed aside any suggestion that the dynamic has created tension in the Senate or could develop into a distraction.
Asked about Murray’s remarks during the caucus, an aide to the Senate president confirmed that Murray indicated her plans to remain in the Senate through the end of the year and would make a decision on whether to seek reelection this spring.
Murray previously said she felt no rush to make an announcement about her plans for reelection before April, when nomination papers are due, suggesting anyone who might want to run for her seat would need little time to put a campaign in motion.
Some senators said they were not sure how to take the comments.
“I find it hard to believe if she got offered the right job she wouldn’t take it,” said one Democrat, who said Murray may have been trying to address media speculation that she is leaving soon.