(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., will take the helm of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, a Democratic source familiar with the decision confirmed on Tuesday.
Murray, who previously served as DSCC chair during the 2002 election cycle, is likely to face a difficult challenge heading into 2012. Out of a total of 33 open Senate seats, 21 are currently held by Democrats and two by independents that caucus with the Democrats -- a favorable ratio for Republicans who are eyeing control of the chamber.
The Washington state lawmaker, who narrowly won her fourth term in the Senate this year in a race against GOP challenger Dino Rossi, will succeed New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez as the head of the committee charged with getting Democrats elected to the Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reportedly had a hard time filling the job. Several other picks, including Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado and Chuck Schumer of New York, either turned down the position or said they would not accept it.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, plans to remain chairman of DSCC’s GOP counterpart -- the National Republican Senatorial Committee -- through 2012.
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