ABC News’ Michael Falcone reports:
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington state, 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 2 by independents that caucus with the Democrats — a favorable ratio for Republicans who are eyeing control of the chamber. (In the new Congress, Democrats will have a 53 to 47 majority.)
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.
Murray is expected to make an official announcement at a caucus meeting of Senate Democrats Monday afternoon.
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.