Another state senator could be contemplating an exit

Kieran Kesner for The Boston Globe/File 2016

State Senator Eileen Donoghue said she is looking at options outside Beacon Hill.

By Globe Staff 

Is another candidate for Massachusetts Senate president heading for the State House exit?

Beacon Hill insiders are buzzing that Senator Eileen M. Donoghue, a Lowell Democrat, may be aiming to succeed Lowell City Manager Kevin Murphy, who announced this week he will retire effective April 1.


Donoghue, a lawyer and former Lowell mayor, issued a carefully worded statement in response to Globe inquiries.

“The announcement yesterday by Manager Murphy that he will resign April 1 surprised me. I want to thank him for his work in and for Lowell,” she said. “Over the weeks to come I will think about how I can best continue to serve the people of Lowell.”

In November, the Globe detailed accusations from four men who alleged that then Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg’s husband, Bryon Hefner, had sexually assaulted or harassed them and who said Hefner bragged he could influence Senate business.

Rosenberg subsequently stepped down as president as the Senate launched an investigation into whether he broke chamber rules. And, soon thereafter, Donoghue and two other Democratic senators announced that they wanted the Senate’s top job, should it open.

One of those senators, Linda Dorcena Forry of Dorchester, resigned from the Senate in January to join the private sector.


Another, Karen E. Spilka of Ashland, is still vying for the presidency. So, too, is Sal N. DiDomenico of Everett. Eric P. Lesser of Longmeadow is weighing a bid for the top legislative post, as well.

Senate Democrats decided last week to keep Senator Harriette L. Chandler, who took over after Rosenberg stepped aside, as their leader for the rest of the year.

Rosenberg remains a senator.

Joshua Miller can be reached at