U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy

District map

Official web site

Email form

Election history: Murphy unseated Republican Nancy Johnson in an upset with 54 percent of the vote in 2006. He was re-elected in 2008 with nearly 60 percent of the vote. He was cross-endorsed by the Working Families Party.

Murphy previously was elected to two two-year terms in the state House of Representatives and two two-year terms in the state Senate, beginning in 1998.

He is seeking re-election in 2010.

2008 general election

Chris Murphy (D) 161,178 53 percent

Chris Murphy (WF)

18,149 6 percent
David J. Cappiello 117,914 39 percent
Thomas L. Winn (*I) 3,082 1 percent
Harold H. Burbank II (**G) 2,324 1 percent

*Independent, **Green

Campaign Finance: Murphy spent $3 million. Cappiello spent $1.3 million.

How the district leans: Barack Obama took 56 percent of the vote in 2008, but John Kerry barely edged George W. Bush in 2004.

Background: Murphy was labelled an up-and-comer in 2009 when he was appointed to co-chair the Frontline Program, the House Democrats’ system of mentoring vulnerable freshmen in what is expected to be a Republican year.

“He has made his mark very quickly,” said U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Murphy is the Democrats whom Republicans say they admire for his willingness to twice give up safe legislative seats to take on what appeared to be formidable challenges. For that reason, observers in both parties predict that Murphy is a likely challenger for Joe Lieberman’s Senate seat in 2012, unless he gets badly scuffed up in 2010.

Murphy voted for the Wall Street bailout, an increase in the minimum wage and a ban on discrimination against gays in the workplace. He opposed an abortion ban tied to foreign aid and an effort to repeal Washington D.C., gun control law.

In group ratings compiled by the Almanac of American Politics, Murphy’s composite voting record was 62 percent liberal and 38 percent conservative in 2008.

He is married to Cathy Holahan, a legal-aid lawyer. They have one child.

Murphy’s Republican challengers include Sam S.F. Caligiuri, a former acting mayor of Waterbury who now holds Murphy’s old Senate seat.

Committees: Energy and Commerce, Oversight and Government Reform

Education:  B.A., Williams College; J.D., University of Connecticut School of Law

2008 Financial Disclosure: With a negative net worth of between $30,002 and $100,000, Murphy ranks near the bottom of House members in wealth, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

To see a copy of his financial disclosure statement, click here.