Sen. Patty Murray weighs leadership challenge to Dick Durbin

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Patty Murray is weighing whether to run against Sen. Dick Durbin for the No. 2 spot in the Senate Democratic Caucus, sources said, as Democrats began to chart a new path forward after losing resoundingly in Tuesday’s elections.

Sources familiar with the discussions tell CNN that the Washington state Democrat is gauging whether to challenge Durbin to be the minority whip under likely new minority leader, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer.

The sources said Murray — now the No. 4 Democrat — made a round of calls Wednesday to determine where her colleagues would like her to be within her party’s leadership structure. Whether she ultimately runs against Durbin is unclear.

The move could be important since the post will be critical in helping guide the party’s strategy after President-elect Donald Trump and congressional Republicans ran the table in Tuesday’s elections. But it would also cause an internal Senate Democratic battle for the position, something that members are often eager to avoid. Leadership elections are scheduled for next week.

Where Schumer stands on a possible Murray bid is unclear. Murray’s office and Schumer’s office declined to comment.

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