Durbin, Murray fuel speculation about leadership battle

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Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, hasn’t officially said she’s running for Senate Democratic whip, but her recent actions, along with those of current whip, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, are fueling speculation about a possible leadership battle.

The Hill reports that during Congress’ April recess, Murray was placing calls to fellow Democrats to talk about leadership strategy. Durbin has been placing similar calls and has locked up some votes to keep his job.

Montana Sen. Jon Tester told The Hill he received calls from both Murray and Durbin. 

Dick was talking about what we need to do to win and what he’s willing to do to help. I think the undertone there was, you know, we’re going to help, he said. Patty was the same.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, already has the Senate minority leader position locked up once Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, retires. Reid has announced he won’t be seeking re-election in 2016.

Both Schumer and Reid wouldn’t directly address a potential leadership battle during a press conference on Tuesday. Durbin also declined to comment.

The next 18 months, we’re all going to work together under Senator Reid’s leadership to fight for the middle class, number one, Schumer said on Tuesday. Number two, to make sure that when Republicans are doing things to hurt the country, that we stop them. And three, to take back the majority.

However, according to The Hill, Durbin’s office said Schumer privately endorsed Durbin; Schumer’s office denies that claim.

Nothing will not be formally decided until after the 2016 election.

Via The Hill

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