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By Jess Bidgood and Liz Goodwin / Boston Globe

The brief House career of Patrick Murphy, a former congressman from Florida, offers a case in point. He was elected in 2012 at the age of 29. But he quickly realized there would be no way for him to move up the ranks anytime soon, and ran unsuccessfully in 2016 for Senate, instead of standing for reelection that year.

“It was like, ‘Well wait a minute, what are we doing here?’ ” Murphy said. “The Democrats unfortunately are going to be looked at as this old-guard party with no new faces, and that’s because the only place we have leadership is the House and they’re not necessarily fresh faces.”

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