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Mass. Lt. Gov. Tim Murray Resigning

Massachusetts Lt. Gov Timothy Murray

There’s been a political shakeup on Beacon Hill. Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray will leave the office shortly to take a job in the private sector in his home city of Worcester.

   Murray announced at an afternoon news conference that he intends to resign the office of Lt. Governor effective June 2 to take the job as President and CEO of the  Chamber of Commerce of Greater Worcester.   He described the decision as bittersweet.

   Murray has been Lt. Governor since he  was first elected on the Democratic ticket with Governor Deval Patrick in 2006. Before that he was mayor in Worcester and a city councilor there.  Murray’s political star was dimmed by a mysterious 2011 early morning car crash  and his ties to a former housing authority boss, Michael McLaughlin, who has pleaded guilty to federal felony charges and is reportedly still under investigation for his fundraising on behalf of Murray

   Murray had announced earlier that he would not run for governor in 2014. Patrick has said he will not seek a third term.  There is no provision in the state constitution for filling the office of  lieutenant governor in the event of a vacancy, so Governor Patrick will have to do without a lieutenant for his last 18 months in office

   Murray had lead roles in the Patrick administration in several areas including veterans services, transportation, STEM education, and solving the plight of the homeless.  Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said Murray was the governor’s right hand man when it came to the needs of the state’s municipalities

   Sarno said he was surprised to hear of Murray’s decision, but said he believed Murray was doing what was best for his family. Sarno and Murray both have two young daughters, their families have spent time together, and  Sarno called Murray a “ true friend.”

   Westfield Mayor Daniel Knapik praised Murray’s work as chairman of a task force set up to protect the state’s military bases from downsizing.

   Knapik, who is a Republican, said Murray, a Democrat, knew when to draw the line when it came to partisanship.

   Murray said his new job will pay him more than $200,000. His salary as lieutenant governor is $125,000.  Upon Murray’s departure, Secretary of State William Galvin becomes next in line to the governor’s office and will be the acting governor whenever Patrick travels out of state.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.