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May 22, 2013

Lt. Gov. Murray to resign; will head Worcester Chamber

BOSTON - Having called off plans to run for another office, Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray will announce plans today to resign to take the position of executive director of the Worcester Regional Chamber Commerce, a job that pays more than his current salary and one that will keep him closer to home and his family, according to a source within the Patrick administration.

The former mayor of Worcester, Murray announced earlier this year that he would not run for governor in 2014 after serving six years as Gov. Deval Patrick’s lieutenant governor, handling a portfolio that made him the administration’s liaison to cities and towns. He will leave office with 19 months remaining on his second term.

Murray’s appointment is contingent on a vote of the chamber’s board, expected to happen around noon on Wednesday. He is expected to earn more than $200,000 a year in his new role, according to a source. His current salary is just under $125,000 per year.

Gov. Patrick and Murray are planning to hold a media availability later in the afternoon at the State House.

A source in the Patrick administration said Murray was approached with the job, and was not actively seeking immediate new employment even though he planned to leave politics after his term expires at the end of 2014.

“It’s obviously a big loss for us, but we’re happy for him,” the senior administration official said.

Murray has remained a popular political figure with mayors and city councilors around the state, but his political brand has suffered in the public eye following an early morning car crash in Sterling, and lingering questions about his political ties to disgraced former Chelsea housing director Michael McLaughlin.

Throughout his tenure, Murray has been a loyal Patrick supporter on both policy and political fronts, defending the governor during his reelection campaign in 2010 and attacking his opponent, Republican Charles Baker. Murray has also joined Patrick in his push for new revenues to pay for transportation infrastructure.

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