Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) jumped into the 2012 Senate race Thursday, saying in a statement that he decided to run to offer "a fresh, progressive voice." ...
"I've decided to run for the United States Senate in 2012 because I believe that I can be a stronger voice for the issues that matter to Connecticut, like creating good jobs and ending these costly wars, in the Senate," Murphy's statement read.
Murphy said entering the race was a "tough decision" but that ultimately, "what I've heard is that people feel that the Senate simply doesn't work anymore -- it's become an unjustifiable barrier to positive change, and Connecticut needs a fresh, progressive voice there that will push for both policy and institutional reform."
Murphy, a great friend of SSP, joins ex-SoS Susan Bysiewicz in the Democratic primary fray. We're still waiting to hear whether 2nd District Rep. Joe Courtney, who is also reportedly interested in a run, will throw down, as well.
UPDATE: Here's Murphy's announcement video, referencing his relentless door-knocking habits:
There's also word today of a poll giving Murphy a 47-35 lead over Bysiewicz in the Dem primary, although we haven't seen a memo yet. This article says it's an internal poll from Murphy, but a source on the campaign tells us the numbers aren't theirs.
While we're girding for a major Dem primary, it's sounding like there's going to be some mortal combat on the GOP side too, with potentially as many as four retreads slugging it out. Ex-Rep. Rob Simmons, who lost to Linda McMahon in last year's Senate primary, is already firing shots across her bow, although it's unclear whether he intends to run or is just trying to kneecap her so someone else gets a try. And while former Gov. candidate Tom Foley's interest has been known, now the guy he defeated in his primary, former Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele, is also saying he's considering the Senate race too.
Finally, there's the little matter of CT-05, which, unless Murphy abruptly reverses course, is our first confirmed open seat of 2012. While this district (which includes culturally-conservative blue-collar cities like Waterbury and New Britain, plus a lot of wealthy second-home territory in the state's northwest corner) is a Dem-leaning seat, it's the closest Connecticut comes to a swing seat, at D+2. The GOP sounds like they'd like a return engagement from former state Sen. and Waterbury mayor Sam Caligiuri, who got within 8 points of Murphy last year. Potential Dem candidates mentioned include state House speaker Chris Donovan and Simsbury First Selectwoman (and Ned Lamont's LG candidate) Mary Glassman.