Sen. Murray to head DSCC for 2012 cycle

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) will take the helm of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in 2012, according to a Democrat with knowledge of the decision.

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Murray previously headed the DSCC in 2002, a year that saw Republicans net two Senate seats. 

Facing the prospect of defending more than 20 Democratic seats in 2012, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has struggled to find a replacement for Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), whose own seat is up in 2012.

Reid reportedly asked Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who headed the committe in 2006 and 2008, to take the helm for a third time but Schumer declined. Reid also approached a number of other senators about the job, including Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), but they too declined.

Murray just won her own difficult reelection bid.

Republicans are bullish on taking back the Senate majority in 2012 after capturing six seats this fall. High of the list of GOP targets in two years are Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Jim Webb (D-Va.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

-- This post was updated at 12:31 p.m.

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