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Editorial: The next step

We’re not inclined to count our chickens before they hatch ... and this is especially true when the henhouse is political.

Still, we can’t help feeling a certain sense of pride and satisfaction when it came to the news coming out of Beacon Hill earlier this week that state Sen. Stanley Rosenberg has apparently secured enough votes to become the state Senate’s next president when the current keeper of the seat, Therese Murray, reaches the end of her term in 2015.

As of now, Murray hasn’t made a decision about running for re-election in 2014.

Here’s what Rosenberg had to say:

“I am pleased to confirm that I have received the overwhelming support of the Democratic Caucus to succeed Senate President Therese Murray when her term ends. I am humbled by the strong support of my colleagues. I think it is important that we have resolved this question quickly and amicably so that we can proceed with the business of the Senate under Senate President Therese Murray’s skillful leadership and the leadership of her team, including Chairman (Stephen) Brewer, who I count as a personal friend.”

We should note that Brewer, the state senator from Barre who is the Senate Ways and Means chairman, also has been mentioned as a possible candidate to succeed Murray.

That’s two — count ’em — two powerful voices for western Massachusetts.

Of course, there’s a lot of time between now and 2015, though there is talk that Murray might not be averse to stepping down earlier, should the right opportunity arise.

And this is, after all, the Massachusetts Legislature where power and political fortunes can turn on a dime.

Yet, if this is about having one of the best people lead the state Senate, then there should be little hesitation among his colleagues when it comes to electing Rosenberg to this seat. The Democrat from Amherst has been a member of the Senate since 1991 and has served in various leadership capacities, including Ways and Means chairman and President Pro Tempore. To say that he’s been a thoughtful and conscientious legislator is an understatement. His career has been one of representing the interests of western Mass. — and the interests of all of Massachusetts — at every turn.

Having Rosenberg in such a position of power can only better ensure that the interests of western Massachusetts and other communities outside the Route 128 circle get a fair hearing in future conversations on Beacon Hill.

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